Retailers in Zimbabwe say the recent hike in fuel prices will push the cost of production and basic goods up. Zimbabwe’s fuel prices are the highest in Southern Africa at US$1.30 per litre of petrol and US$1.32 for diesel.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) President, Denford Mutashu told ZTN that they were engaging the government over possible tax reductions.
“We always do engage government on such critical issues,” he said.
Mutashu added, “It is a cause for concern, because it has had in the past a tendency to push final pricing on the market upwards.”
He also urged retailers not to increase prices yet. “In the interim, we advise the wholesale and retail sector to exercise restraint and ensure that they remain within the price guidelines in terms of adjustment,” he said.
On Tuesday the CZR released a statement saying it fears the latest fuel increase will negatively affect business which will have no option but to pass the cost to the consumer.
ZTN spoke to economist, Dr Albert Makochekana who concurred that consumers will indeed bear the brunt of a fuel price increase.
“In business I have to recover my costs, including transport costs, for me to be viable. It’s natural I pass on to other people,” he said.
Batanai Matsika, another economist said, “We have to also note that the price increases are actually being driven by global increases in the price of oil.”
On Monday Brent crude oil rose above US$70 per barrel on the international market for the first time in 2021.