By A Correspondent| Social and economic justice pressure group, the Progressive and Patriotic Citizens of Zimbabwe (PAPCOZ) has raised concerns over the skyrocketing prices of basic commodities it believes some business cartels are manipulating at the expense of ordinary citizens.
PAPCOZ treasurer Agnes Chikondo told a news conference in the capital that recent “unjustified” price increases in basic commodities required an immediate solution.
“The Citizens and consumers of Zimbabwe under PAPCOZ note with grave concern the appalling and unjustified increase in commodity prices.
“Such price increases coupled with a skyrocketing parallel market rate is not only of concern but has become cancerous to an extent of needing both diagnosis and urgent prescription.
“Since the resumption of the foreign currency Auction rate after its suspension last year, we have noted with concern the mismatch between the central Bank Auction facility and the parallel market rate,” said Chikondo.
The price of basic commodities in the country recently skyrocketed worsening the plight of cashless ordinary citizens.
Bread, cooking oil, and milk all saw price increases of more than 100% in the local currency.
Chikondo accused business cartels for being behind the price hikes and skyrocketing parallel market which has negatively impacted the livelihoods of ordinary citizens.
“It is worrisome that there are oligarchies, cartels and economic saboteurs in our midst who are operating in dark corridors, fighting government efforts to destabilize the economy.
“We are aware of these oligarchies and cartels and want to warn you in the strongest of terms that your time is up.
“There are businesses that are thriving because of the existence of the auction facility and yet we are now aware that these same entities are part of the cartels driving the parallel market for greedy purposes while fueling arbitrage,” said Chikondo.
Chikondo added the same businesses that “were benefiting from the auction rate were the same culprits charging goods using the parallel market rate.”
“Moving forward we are going to engage the financial intelligence Unit, all other law enforcement and security agencies to expose these oligarchies, cartels and all those involved in foreign currency shoddy deals.
“We shall ensure through our advocacy and non-confrontational methods that all these economic terrorists are brought to book and face the full wrath of the law.
“This important and urgent operation and campaign shall also push for the seizure of licenses of those businesses who are found on the wrong side of the law,” concluded Chikondo.