The skewed pricing models prevailing on the market call for greater attention by relevant authorities to prevent further threats to the performance of the economy.
In simplified economic terms, the practice of multi pricing is counter-productive.
However, this basic fundamental of economic growth is not being respected by market players in the country a situation that has created further problems for an economy that is already burdened by many pressures including low investments and foreign currency shortages.
At the 5th Buy Zimbabwe Retailers and Suppliers Conference convened in the capital, the pricing disparities on the market were a major point of debate.
The implications of continuing such practices will in the long run have dire consequences for the economy, said economist Dr Gift Mugano.
The continued price increases of basic goods and commodities point to a challenge that goes deeper than foreign currency shortages and requires urgent interventions by authorities, alluded industrialist Mr Anthony Mandiwanza.
Seven months down the line since the central bank warned it may invoke a law to reign in the three tier pricing model the practice continues unabated.
Maybe it is time authorities begin to act on such defiance and protect the end user who always emerge the loser in this battle.
Industry has started to draw down funds under the $600 million nostro-stabilisation facility, a development that raises hope for manufacturers to restock on critical basic goods and commodities ahead of the festive season.
The stabilisation facility from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is targeted to ease foreign payment backlog with authorities optimistic that the funds will help reduce foreign currency shortages until around June next year.
By this time, Zimbabwe will also be enjoying a purple patch in terms of its foreign currency inflows as the tobacco selling season, one of the country’s major foreign currency earners will be in full swing.
The start of the draw-down from the nostro-stabilisation facility has given hope to the manufacturing sector whose production figures are showing a positive picture after posting a 5.5 percent increase according to the latest manufacturing survey report.
Information at hand indicates that the disbursement of the funds by local financial institutions started last week, however industry leaders advise that local banks should honour the priority list as this is an issue that has remained outstanding from the previous facility.
Industry leaders contend that the nostro stabilisation facility has been critical to ensure consistent supplies of electricity and fuel while also working towards the revival of firms affected by macro-economic pressures among other factors.
While the coming of the nostro stabilisation facility brings in hope to the manufacturing sector, the prices of basic commodities continue to rise diminishing the buying power of consumers.
Retailers blame it on low production, manufacturers square the blame on unavailability of adequate foreign currency.
However, in the end it is the consumer who continues to bear the burden of increasing prices for their daily needs.
A warning issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe earlier this year for retailers to desist from a three tier pricing model seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
The umbrella body governing retailers is equally concerned, but highlights some underlying factors that need to be addressed to correct the prevailing disparities.
According to recent surveys the prices of basic commodities for locally produced goods have increased by a margin of at least 20 percent.
Imported goods have almost triplicated over the last month mainly for building materials.
While it is agreeable that the purpose of any business is to make a profit this should however not be used as an excuse for the continued exploitation of consumers.
Equally worrying is the defiance by retailers over government directive.