inflation3.jpgA showdown is looming between retailers and manufacturers who are trading accusations over latest price increases for commodities following the reintroduction of duty on imported basic goods.

Following the reintroduction of import duty on basic commodities with effect from last month, retailers and manufacturers are clashing over the price hikes for several goods.

While manufacturers this week told a National Economic Consultative Forum taskforce on industry that retailers are to blame for the price increases, the local shops have however blamed local producers for failure to provide adequate goods.

A retailer, Mr. Lucky Nherera says the move has resulted in several shops relying on imported goods being levied duty at 15% per unit thereby leading to price adjustments as shops seek to sustain viability.

“There is nothing we can do because we are still importing the goods at 15% despite claims by local industry that they are ready to supply all the relevant goods,” said Mr. Nherera.

A member of the Retailers Association of Zimbabwe, Mr. William Mutomba revealed that retailers’ mark ups are averaging at least 10% from the real costs per unit of items supplied by the producers.

He however said price stability will largely depend on local manufacturing companies’ ability to supply enough goods to several shops around the country.

“We are only getting at least 10% of revenues from the unit costs per item and we wonder how we can increase the prices,” Mr.  Mutomba said.

Questions are being raised by stakeholders as to how the Ministry of Finance reintroduced the 15% duty on selected basic goods without taking into consideration local productivity as well as funding requirements to facilitate the full swing recovery of manufacturing companies.