The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe says business people operating in the country are defying simple business ethics by taking consumers for granted in their pricing regime which has seen most prices of basic commodities going up despite the fact that the country is using the green back which is stable against other global currencies.
The festive season saw predatory business people increasing their prices of basic commodities making pricing models in the country soaring beyond the regional and international pricing regime as most businesses took advantage of high demands of such basic products.
The trend continued in the new year with the introduction of the Statutory Instrument 20 of 2017 which called for an increase of 15 percent of value added tax (VAT) also seeing most products almost doubling their prices and failed to reverse the move despite the withdrawal of the tax by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Cde Patrick Chinamasa.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe executive director Mrs Rosemary Siyachitema says businesses operating in the country need to adhere to basic business principles as opposed to taking consumers for granted.
“What we are witnessing in the country is not good for the burdened consumers. While it was going to be difficult for business to reverse their pricing regime, it is critical that they apply their conscience in whatever business they are doing. We cannot continue with this trend as a country,” she said.
Mrs Siyachitema says the consumers will have to wait for the Consumer Protection Bill which will give them legal powers to challenge any form of abuse.
“We are saying the Bill could just be the answer that Zimbabweans are looking for after being taken for a ride for far too long,” added Mrs Siyachitema.
Once the bill is passed into law, it is expected to provide a consistent and efficient regulatory framework that fosters consumer confidence and empower consumer organisations to undertake consumer education and advocacy.