Zimbabwe Monthly figures 2004/07 till present 2004/10
Price comparison some items Zimbabwe vs. Uganda
Welcome to PriceWatch Zimbabwe - I collect prices of some BASIC items
at one supermarket and one vegetable supplier once per month and
present them here. As the months pass, I will I guess do graphs and stuff...
Note that if major supermarket chains decided to co-operate we could get much
better data and maybe help keep prices lower and reward those retailers who
are trying to keep the cost of living down (and of course punish the others)..
I concentrate on basics because really the lower income groups are the most affected
and the most damaged by inflation and profiteering.
All prices are in Zimbabwe Dollar (ZWD) per kilogram or per litre as appropriate unless otherwise specified..
Background inflation is reckoned to be 200 - 400% per year...
The info here is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation of National Economic Policies -
merely a factual guide to measuring some of them...
Comment end of October 2004 -
Over the 3 month period, potatoes, rice, bananas, eggs and kapenta dried fish are the villains;
cabbage, carrots, brocolli, maize meal, toothpaste, and peanut butter are the good guys.
Over the last 1 month, carrots, rice, bleach tomatoes and washing soap are the bad guys;
toothpaste, salt, cabbage, wheat flour, peanut butter, tea, sugar beans, and chicken are
the good guys.
Note that some well overdue and very welcome competition appears to be creeping
into the grocery (i.e. non-vegetable) items - for example the supermarket I am
sampling is now stocking some South-African made Amka Dentazyme toothpaste as a competitor
to the cartels of Colgate Palmolive and Unilever - they can make a handsome profit selling
at Z$ 6,400 for 100 ml, therefore what kind of profit do the above-mentioned
Profiteers turn out? Also salt has some no-name competition at lower price; no-name tea
is now cheaper than the brand alternatives, peanut butter actually reduced in price.. etc..
It is now required that these signs of competition are intensified and expanded to other items....
Any item which is increasing at more then 200% annualised rate is exceeding the target -
and should be investigated by the CCZ (Consumer Council Zimbabwe) - whose speciality
is doing nothing. There is even in Harare an Africa-wide consumer council of some kind, whom
one must also suspect of moribund inactivity...
Note that there are items whose rate of price change is 'acceptable', but whose prices in general
reflect overcharging when compared with world and/or regional prices. These overcharged items also
bear investigation by any anti-monopolies commission which is established in Zimbabwe in the future.
Comment end of September 2004 -
phone charges, oranges,
mazoe orange juice,
kapenta dried fish,
frozen chicken are all inflating at rates in excess of the National 200% per annum target.
Eggs and Washing Powder already seem to be operating a Cartel, in that their price are well above
Ugandan levels. Add their unreasonable price inflation, and you have a situation which
is ripe for Government Action....
Comment end of August 2004 - unspeakable behavior by Telone,the fixed phone privatied monopoly, with 390%
(unannounced!) increase; otherwise remarkably constant prices, with salt, eggs, petrol, diesel,
and wash powder the villains, "modest" increases in rice, potatoes, bread,
USD = ZWD 6800 approximately parallel market rate for August and September 2004,
USD = ZWD 7200 for 2004/10.
USD = ZWD 5600 approximately official rate for August thru October 2004 (