Retailers have been castigated for the recent unjustified price hikes in basic commodities, a move which has eroded consumersâ€™ income during this festive season.
This festive season will be a forgettable one for ordinary Zimbabweans after retailers conspired to spoil the 2010 Christmas through price hikes which have corroded deeper into consumersâ€™ pockets.
Most consumers say the price of groceries has almost doubled in December and their spending power has been greatly reduced.
â€œThe government should intervene with price controls. Prices continue to go up and for instance, the price of cooking oil has almost doubled,â€ said one consumer.
A local retailer, Cde William Mutomba said the price increases have been effected by suppliers and retailers have responded by doing the same to stay in business.
â€œThe problem lies with suppliers who adjusted their prices, hence as retailers we have no option but to do the same for us to realise any profit,â€ Cde Mutomba said.
A member of the retailers association, Mr. Denford Mutashu, has laid the blame on fellow retailers who he said are not being sensible as they are targeting to erode consumersâ€™ little hard earned cash.
â€œRetailers are after peopleâ€™s bonuses which is not fair considering that the same people have to buy uniforms and pay school fees in January next year,â€ said Mr. Mutashu.
The country has been enjoying a stable socio-economic environment following the introduction of the multi-currency regime by the then Acting Finance Minister, Cde Patrick Chinamasa in February 2009.
While Zimbabwe uses the South African rand, the Botswana pula and the US dollar, local products have become very expensive compared to Botswana and South Africa raising eyebrows on the ethics of local business.