United Refiners boss threatens to blacklist retailers hoarding cooking oil


Several people abhorred the practice of demanding that customers buy goods worth $15 to $20 before they would be allowed to buy cooking oil saying retailers were merely profiteering.

Takarindira, however, saw no problem with this. “Normal customer baskets have always included other products. Nothing new there. Same crying customers are reselling the oil at double prices on market stalls or tuckshops.”

Kudzie suggested that manufacturers release the list of retailers who will have received the product because right now manufacturers were blaming retailers for hoarding when retailers were blaming manufacturers for not producing.

“Who is telling the truth.. retailers are accusing manufacturers and now manufacturers are accusing retailers…..how do we solve this….manufactures can release the outlets that would have been supplied and the quantities supplied once a week,” he said.

Mlungisi Dube said he was surprised by the debate. “It is only in Zimbabwe where producers and retailers get upset when people want to buy more of their products. It is obvious emanating from incapatication, a producer who understands volumes would celebrate even when customers were buying their products to throw them away.”

Vusa added: “You also want to participate in the commodities control scheme just like the zanupf led govt? Shame on you bro Busisa, I f I buy something from you, it’s now mine, your business with me ends at the point of exchange, what happens thereafter is non of your business.”

Itai Mubaiwa did not agree. “I don’t agree with you sir! Part of the social contract between a manufacturer and a customer is that the end product will be available at the most possible affordable price. A responsible manufacturer will protect the consumer from abusive retailers.”

Vusa argued: “It makes no business sense for a retailer to sit on stocks man. If the manufacturers were able to meet demand there would be no such speculative behaviour. Instead of focusing on rationing, why not focus on scaling up production? Who would withhold goods when there are plenty?

Mubaiwa responded: “I agree it doesn’t make sense but a lot of things in Zim don’t make sense. Everything has exponentially increased in price even locally made goods; shoe polish is $5, 4× Ellis of tissues $22. Busisa said they supplied the stock and you say there’s no stock and he gets puzzled.”

Mahwitej told Moyo: “If you blacklist your customers today they can as well blacklist you tomorrow when things get right. Consulting can be a better option.”



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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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