Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association requested the government to drop some of the statutory instruments so as to ease the shortage of basic commodities in the country at a presser held this morning at Media Centre.
ZCBTA concerned with the current shortages
The secretary general of ZCBTA, Mr. Augustine Tawanda notified the media that they are concerned with the shortages of goods for the past 2 weeks. He added that many speculations have been raised as to the root cause of price increases. Some of the speculations referred to wholesalers grabbing an opportunity to profiteer while some think that the pressure has come from the manufacturers who are largely affected by the random changes on the USD exchange rates.
Statutory Instrument 64 must be suspended
Tawanda highlighted that these speculations may be true but Zimbabwe cannot run away from the fact that it is facing serious shortages of basic commodities. He alluded that these shortages have heightened levels of hunger and poverty. “In light of the above ZCBTA urges the government to urgently suspend Statutory Instrument 64 and relax other duties and taxes,” said Tawanda. Statutory Instrument 64 requires traders to seek a permit from the government before importing basic commodities. He added that this should be done so as to make it easier for traders and other travelers to import the much-needed commodities. According to Tawanda this move will go a long way in bringing competition and will also improve price stability which will foster a change in the current situation.
2008 is knocking on the door
Tawanda likened the current situation to that of 2008 which saw an era of hyperinflation which hit Zimbabwe. He added that the shortages at that time were precipitated when the government restricted the importation of basic commodities. “it was only after the relaxation of the commodities imports regulation that cross-border traders began to supply groceries and they alleviated hunger,” said Tawanda.