By A Correspondent- Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) national chairman Tafadzwa Musarara, however, said there is no reason for the country to experience bread shortages as there is adequate wheat in the country.
Musarara said this amid reports that some bakeries are demanding strictly United States dollars only for bread, leading to an “artificial” shortage of bread in some parts of the country.
Bread is the most popular source of protein in Zimbabwean households and it is a handy all rounder that can be served for breakfast, lunch and kids’ lunch pack.
Zimbabwe’s major bakeries, Lobel’s Bread and Bakers Inn on Saturday 4 June, hiked the price of bread from less than $500 to $636 per loaf.
Some tuckshop owners in Harare are claiming that they were failing to get enough bread supplies from bakeries, who only want foreign currency for bread orders.
The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) are not happy with the developments. CZR president Denford Mutashu urged members of the public to boycott shops demanding US dollars for bread. Mutashu said,
“The retail sector and consumers have no capacity to pay in US$ for bread when they earn local currency. Bread should continue to be accessible in all currencies.”
Mutashu added that,
“CZR is engaging GMAZ and the National Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (NBAZ) over the issue. Bread is a key basic commodity and once it is sold in US$ for whatever reason, the whole economy will follow suit and dollarise””
National Association of Consumer Rights spokesperson Effie Ncube said that it’s natural for bakeries to demand foreign currency since Government departments are also charging for services in US dollars.
Said Ncube, “The bakeries are now following the example of the government which has allowed the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (Zimsec) to charge examination fees in US$. It is not surprising that some bakeries are now demanding US$ for bread.”