Zimbabwe grain millers to halt supplies to overcharging retailers

ZIMBABWE – Millers under the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) have said that they will no longer supply retailers engaging in overcharging of basic commodities.

This move seeks to further support the millers’ price monitoring initiative that aims at eradicating unwarranted price increases on major commodities across the retail market in the country.

GMAZ is a voluntary organisation which represents the interests of local large, medium and small scale millers and supplies basic commodities such as mealie-meal, flour, salt, samp and rice.

According to GMAZ Ethics and Compliance committee chairperson, Alvin Muparutsa overcharging millers also risk being blacklisted and stopped from acquiring cheap maize and other commodities from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

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“As GMAZ, we would like to urge all our stakeholders including millers and shop owners to adhere to the recommended price models we agreed in our memorandum of understanding,” Muparutsa said.

“Failure to comply, GMAZ will force its members to withdraw supplies to that particular shop owner” he said adding that the association will engage the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers in the initiative.

In May, GMAZ signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Confederation of Zimbabwean Retailers through the self–regulatory initiative with an aim of promoting responsible pricing.

Under the agreement, retailers will charge the normal mark-ups that have always been charged on those products while ensuring they do not take advantage of situations like shortages or engaging in speculative behaviour.

Muparutsa said the millers group was in the process of compiling and analysing information gathered by its price monitoring teams throughout the country, report the Herald.

“We will only know which shops are in the habit of arbitrarily increasing prices after compiling all the information,” he said.

“The outcome of the process will be made public. We have also extended the exercise to the 15th of July because we still have a lot of ground to cover,” he said.

The move by GMAZ to embark on a price monitoring exercise comes as prices of goods and services continue to skyrocket in the country with most goods now pegged at a value equivalent to the prevailing black market rate of the US dollar.

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