MASVINGO—The Zanu PF provincial youth league here has deployed its members to police prices in rural shops across the province saying shop owners were taking advantage of the free market economy to charge exorbitant prices on basic goods.
The youth league says it is also pushing for government controlled shops which will have a sober pricing system.
Provincial youth league boss Brian Munyoro said the people in the rural areas are being affected immensely by the rampant price increases and there was need for the youth league to take the side of the people.
“Shop owners are taking advantage of our people in the rural areas and fleecing them of their hard earned cash.
“They want to punish the rural population because they voted for Zanu PF but we will not allow that to go unchecked. We have a business centre with about five shops who sell the same products at different prices and we ask how that is possible?
“Delta delivers beverages to their door steps but you find the beverages being priced differently. Our youths found out that a small bottle of Coca Cola is being charged between $1.50 and $2.20 and you wonder what is going on,” said Munyoro.
He said the behaviour being showcased by most shop owners is unacceptable and they should adjust or face the music.
“The operation is working and some shops are reducing their prices when they realise that their actions are known.
“We do not want people who sabotage the government by making others suffer. We have send a proposal to have government controlled shops which will sell basic goods at affordable prices. We want parastatals like the Grain Marketing Board to run shops.
“These government controlled shops will force private shop owners to keep check of their pricing system or close shop if they cannot withstand competition,” said Munyoro.
Two weeks ago, the youth league forced down the price of bread which was being sold at $3 per loaf when the recommended retail price was still at $1.50.
President Mnangagwa has said his government will not do price controls.