Concern over Masvingo black market

Concern over Masvingo black market
Published: 02 June 2022
The Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has castigated the emergence of a black market for some basic commodities in the city of Masvingo saying it's adversely affecting operations of supermarkets and wholesalers, Business Times can report.

ZNCC Masvingo Province deputy chairperson, Nkulumani Mlambo called for government intervention.

"At the end of the day some retail shops and supermarkets will have to retrench as they are losing customers to informal traders," Mlambo said.

A survey by Business Times in Masvingo revealed that basic commodities such as cooking oil, mealie-meal and sugar are being sold on black market where they are relatively cheaper in comparison with established supermarkets and wholesalers. commodities from the informal or black These basic commodities which market. These commodities are usually are now ‘scarce' in supermarkets are now being sold at Chitima market in Masvingo.

Residents who spoke to Business Times said they would rather buy basic commodities at the black market where they are sold at a cheaper rate using US dollar or the South African Rand.

"I would rather buy commodities such as sugar, cooking oil and mealie- meal at the black market where prices are negotiable and are cheaper," said a resident who declined to be named.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe Masvingo Province regional manager, Ndumiso Mgutshini told Business Times that consumers in Masvingo now prefer buying from the black market rather than from official supermarket and wholesalers.

"From the survey we carried in Masvingo, we discovered that consumers now prefer to buy basic sold in either Rands or US dollars and we attribute this to the fall of our local currency," Ndumiso Mgutshini:

Economist, Prosper Chitambara attributed the rise of the informal market to the weakening of the local currency.

"The continued fall of the local currency has led to the emergency of the black market as consumers now prefer to buy basic commodities where the exchange rate is much higher in comparison with the formal market where the rate is lower," Chitambara said.

He added: "Some workers are now receiving mixed currencies salaries and they are finding it more sensible to change foreign currency on the informal market and buy basic commodities there."
- Business Times
Tags: ZNCC,


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