Do Zimbabweans have money or they are just braggarts?


Mangudya told the Daily News three years ago that the answer to high prices was consumer resistance but the people of Zimbabwe were so divided that it seemed they were trying to fix him or the government by shooting themselves in the foot.

“There is need for consumer resistance. There is a lot of rent-seeking behaviour in our society. Some unscrupulous businesspeople keep increasing prices because there is demand for their products, never mind the extortionate prices,” he said.

“What should actually be happening is that businesses should be reducing their prices as we don’t expect them to remain high given that they are getting foreign currency from the banking system.

“If we did not have the foreign currency to support their requirements, it could have been a veld fire. That’s why I say the answer is that we need foreign exchange to dampen all these premiums on the parallel market. If prices are high, consumers should shun those retailers…….

“At times some of our people are difficult to understand. They want to fix Mangudya and government by engaging in some of these reckless behaviours. Well, go and buy at those prices if you have the money . . . you are basically fixing yourself.

“But at the end of the day, some will come back and say they want a salary increase when they are shooting themselves in the foot. Forget it, there is not going to be any salary increase whatsoever. Just don’t buy. That’s consumer resistance. We need to show we are unhappy. People should not take advantage of the unsuspecting public.”

Although Zimbabwe has a consumer council which should protect people, its is a government agency and is therefore viewed with suspicion especially by the oppostion which controls most of the urban centres.

Its calls for boycotts of certainn highly priced products have therefore largely been ignored.



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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