The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has attributed the recent bread price increase to rising inflation, which jumped to 131.7% in May, from 96.4% recorded in April.
On Saturday, retailers hiked the price of bread to ZWL$640 or US$2.10 from ZWL$450.
CZR president Denford Mutashu said there is a need for both the public and private sectors to increase salaries as the majority of workers can no longer afford basic foodstuffs such as bread. Said Mutashu:
This has been caused by the unrelenting parallel market rate. It has caused pressure on the cost of doing business.
The general public is no longer affording the basic commodities.
There is now a need for the private and public sectors to raise salaries as workers cannot go into a supermarket and come out with a basket of all the basic commodities.
Progressive and Patriotic Citizens of Zimbabwe (PAPCOZ), a pressure group aligned with ZANU PF, urged the Government to intervene and stop the price hikes. It said:
The citizens and consumers of Zimbabwe under PAPCOZ note with grave concern the appalling and unjustified increase in commodity prices.
We shall also push for the seizure of licenses of those businesses that are found on the wrong side of the law.
Reports indicate that some bakeries are refusing to sell bread in Zimbabwe dollars due to a lack of confidence in the local currency.
During the GNU era, from 2009 to 2013, bread was retailing at less than US$1 while a substandard loaf of bread was being sold for just US$0.50.