Minister Nenza explains the reason behind price hikes

by | May 5, 2021 | Business, Local News | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Sekai Nzenza said the COVID-19 Pandemic is responsible for the recent increase of prices on basic commodities.

She said this during her presentation on state of the industry and commerce at the ZANU-PF headquarters yesterday.

Minister Nzenza said that she was ridiculed when she last tried to explain how Cooking oil prices were rising due to lack of Crude Oil thus increasing the demand for it.

“I was made a laughing stock when people mistook me as referring to Bean Crude oil as Industrial Crude oil,” she said.

Zimbabwe has not been immune to the effects of the internantional COVID-19 pandemic.

The virus froze much of the production that fed the markets in Zimbabwe.

“COVID-19 paused a potential threat to domestic and international supply chains,” she said.

Minister Nzenza assured the Party that her ministry was making all efforts to facilitate return to normalcy with the guidance from the National Development Strategy Phase 1 (NDS1).

“The starting point was categorizing the manufacturing sector as an essential service by President Emmerson Mnangagwa. This move mitigated against disruption of the value chain as well as promote import substitution,” she said.

Minister Nzenza said that government and the private sector are now working hand in hand to appraise on a corrective strategy to be adopted under NDS1.

“Results from our survey showed that there has been a growth in local manufactured goods by 10.6 percent. 45 products on the shelves in shops are proudly Zimbabwean made,” she added.

Minister Nzenza said that along with increasing productivity, production and profitability within the value chain of Zimbabwean manufacturing industry, her ministry targets increasing more competition and quality standards.

“My ministry is in the Final stages of putting together a Quality Assurance Policy,” she added.

She also said that in order to increase industrial capacity, the old dormant industries need to be revived.

“The equipment that was used during the Smith Era is still there and has become redundant. Therefore we must increase innovation.
Companies that were producing in the 1920s are still producing because they evolved with the fourth industrial revolution,” she said.

Hon Nzenza mentioned the declaration of crops like soya beans and sugar cane as being an effort to influence the value chain of these cropals and others.

Other agriculture products who’s value chain will be influenced through policy include cotton, tobacco, leather, dairy and Fertiliser.

Rural industrialisation is on the table in which Ministry of Industry and Commerce will work hand in hand with State Ministers for guidance in line with Devolution.