The government has expressed dissatisfaction with the baking industry which decided to unilaterally effect a bread price increase without following proper procedures.

The Bakers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) wrote a letter to government stating bakers’ intention to increase the price of the basic commodity, and before the government had responded, Zimbabweans woke up to a new price structure yesterday, with a loaf of bread costing RTGS$3.80 up from RTGS$2.40.

The ZBC News noted that while the cabinet was deliberating on the BAZ letter on Tuesday’s sitting, the BAZ had already effected the new price.

 “The Minister of industry and Commerce [Mr Nqobizitha Ndlovu] presented to cabinet a letter by the Bakers Association of Zimbabwe, stating their intention to immediately hike the price of bread without any recourse to consultations with government as is the normal procedure. Of particular concern to Cabinet is the timing of the planned price increase, which is coming exactly two days before the national Independence celebrations. Such a move, whether by design or otherwise, certainly has an effect on dampening the mood of the nation. Furthermore, the unilateral action does not bode well to the ongoing efforts by the government to engage in dialogue with stakeholders, business included, with a view to creating a stable environment where business can compete and thrive,” said Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, during the post cabinet briefing this Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the government has availed 20 million litres of fuel to cater for the impending holidays, while the operationalisation of the coke oven batteries at ZISCO is set to take off.

“Measures have been taken to ensure that there will be adequate fuel supply in the country over the Easter and Independence holidays as well as during the 2019 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. An additional 20 million litres of fuel comprising 8 million litres of petrol and 12 million litres of diesel has been released into the market,” said Cde Mutsvangwa.

She also said the operationalisation of Zimcoke at ZISCO is set to create 800 jobs and also help create downstream and upstream economic linkages as Zimbabwe makes strides in its economic turnaround journey.