GOVERNMENT should take interest and probe the escalating prices of essential commodities that is crushing the common man, Christians Against Poverty in Zambia president Reverend Gregory Chileshe has said.
Rev Chileshe said it was unfair for traders to continue increasing prices of essential commodities when transport costs remained the same. He said the Government should intervene to stop traders from hiking prices unnecessarily because there was no justification.
Rev Chileshe said prices of essential commodities were being hiked on a daily basis and the impact was being felt by the ordinary Zambians.
He said it was unacceptable that the price of mealie meal was so high, making it unaffordable to the majority poor.
“This is not fair and this should be thoroughly probed because we cannot have a situation where prices of essential commodities are being increased on a daily basis and with a huge increment,” he said.
Rev Chileshe said traders were “stealing” from the consumer because they were hiking prices on old stock which was already on the market even before the economic crisis began. He questioned the criteria used by some traders to increase their goods and services by more than 100 percent, although transport costs have not been increased.
“Usually high transport costs culminate into high charges that escalate the price of maize and other agricultural products for consumers, but for now the case is different,” he said.
It was unfortunate that traders were shifting the entire burden to the poor Zambian who was feeling the impact when they (traders) bought the goods at reasonable prices, adding that those were some of the things the Government should look at.
“How can the price of mealie meal and other essential commodities come down when the people involved want to benefit without considering the community as in whole?” he said.