A low income family of six now needs a minimum of over ZWL$25 000 a month for basics such as food, rentals, and other day to day needs.
According to latest data from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, the cost of living shot up by 8.09 per cent from December last year to January this year. By the end of January, the food basket stood at $25 998 from $24 053.92, in December 2020.
The consumer watchdog’s Deputy Director, Rose Chikarakara told ZTN News “Prices have indeed been going up and the reason for that has been mainly the absence of the informal sector during the lockdown restrictions. As you know, the informal sector comprises of small scale retailers such as the tuck-shops, the flea markets, small fruit and vegetable markets and so forth. All these have been restricted since the beginning of the lockdown in January.
“What this means is, it created a huge gap and there was a lot of restriction in terms of competition and in the absence of competition, prices are bound to go up,” she said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu, also gave his perspective on the increase in prices of basic goods.
“A lot of it is due to supply issues bordering around raw materials, grain etc. The lockdown was also another driving factor. Few players were operational during the 30 day lock down because issuing of exemption letters was very slow and in a lot of times, very inefficient. A lot of members did not open and that may also have led to isolated price increases,” he said.