RETAILERS have called on the government to urgently avail foreign currency to enable businesses to import basic commodities amid the growing depletion essential groceries, which are mostly imported from neighbouring countries.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Friday, Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president, Denford Mutashu, said traders were now facing challenges as they were quickly running out of stock.
“As I am speaking right now bigger shops have run out of basic commodities. It is also difficult to get access to foreign currency on the interbank market since no business is going on. It is against this background that we call upon the government to release foreign currency to support our sector to restock,” he said.
Mutashu said the current shortages were a result of the natural effects posed by the COVID-19, which saw the government imposing a 21-day national lockdown.
“So the cost of restocking becomes higher once the commodities have completely run out,” he said.
Most of the basic commodities sold by retailers in Zimbabwe are imported from countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia. However, these countries are also on lockdown as they try to contain the spread of coronavirus and have closed their national borders.