Simbisa Brand rubbishes government directive

HARARE – Simbisa Brands has rubbished the call by the government of Zimbabwe to use interbank rates in its pricing system.

The directive by the government comes after a public outcry by the retailers that showed that the brand was charging RTGS200 for USD$1.

However, Simbisa which is the country’s largest food chain outlet has shown the government the middle finger by continuing to charge the exorbitant price on RTGS.

The brand has always been accused of manipulating the parallel market exchange rate.

In its defense, the country’s managing director Warren Meares said the issue of the exchange rate was taken out of proportion as prices were previously charged on a promotional basis which has since come to an end.

“We have stopped the Bakers’ Inn promotion with immediate effect. The price of that Backers Inn meal is $1, 25. It had been discounted to $1, 00 when paying in US$. The US$ receipt is clearly marked promotion and discount. I don’t know why this has been blown out of proportion. The original price was $1, 25 people can do the maths.

“The promotion (which has been in place for over a year) was premised on the issue of unavailability of US$ change.”
The brands Human resources manager, Mr. Misheck Muleya added that the pricing was based on the average rate derived from suppliers’ rates.

“All our suppliers are not using the interbank rate boss. Our pricing system is based on the average rate derived from the suppliers’ rates,” said Muleya.

The government last week warned to discern heavily on unscrupulous businesses that are sabotaging the country’s economic recovery path by manipulating the exchange rate.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga has warned businesses against operating in the parallel foreign exchange market as Government will take punitive action against them.

‘Businesses should not be hoodwinked by some malcontents that are operating on the parallel foreign exchange market where foreign exchange arbitrage has become their lucrative business at the expense of the stability of the economy”, said the vice president.

Meanwhile, the ZWL dollar continues to be on a free fall with the exchange rate having been surpassed 1:170.The free fall has been largely attributed to poor RBZ policies like the newly introduced USD$50 withdrawal from the bereu de change across the country.

Source – Shelton Muchena

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