By Tendai Guvamombe
Consumer behaviour is a major determining factor that can measure economic performances in the country hence economists should stand for consumer’s rights and protection. This has not been the case in the country’s economic landscape where end users of products are crying foul over the way they are fingered in the economic discourse of price hikes .
Panic buying and hoarding tendencies by consumers were some of the burning issues under scrutiny at the Breakfast Meeting Discussion hosted by Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) on Thursday in the Harare.
The Deputy Executive Director of Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) Rose Mpofu who was among panelists expressed concern on the fate of consumers in light of pricing dilemma alleging that it is the responsibility of economists to stand for the rights of consumers.
“Economists from all levels should in fact proffer advice to the government to introduce policies that addresses concerns of consumers because it is our right to basic needs so we need access to commodities at reasonable prices.”
“People are taking advantage of consumers where blame on price hikes is offloaded on us. We are also labeled mean business people and sometimes panic buying is done due to fear of the unknown.”
Mpofu challenged economists to provide practical and interpretive based approaches as a way of providing information to the public.
“We are not having information out there on why there have been price hikes. We demand to know. We are in the dark and for instance economists have not been able to interpret to us on the relevance of Consumer Protection Bill (CPB) which has been gazetted by the government.”
Meanwhile the Acting President Rtd General Constantino Chiwenga has since blamed the social media and panic buying and hoarding tendencies as the major causes of price hikes