Sunday, 12 June 2016


THE Government has reassured the nation that no food shortages will be experienced contrary to social media reports circulating that basic commodities were becoming scarce in supermarkets. In an interview yesterday, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said there was a lot of panic among people that came after a lot of misinformation circulated following the announcement by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to introduce a raft of measures to curb cash shortages.

“The only truth in this is that a minor disturbance has been experienced due to the cash shortages but the RBZ is working flat out to ensure that producers access forex to pay for inputs and continue producing,” said Minister Bimha.

He said his ministry was in touch with the captains of industry and they assured him that there were plenty of basic commodities that include sugar and cooking oil. He said the cash shortages the country was facing would not result in any food shortages.

“People should not panic because we can never run out of food. None of the manufacturers have told me that they cannot produce, I am communicating with them daily and the situation is under control,” he said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Busisa Moyo said the challenge that most companies were facing was the inability to pay for imported raw materials but the central bank had managed to ensure that funds for critical raw materials are processed on time by the banking sector.

“If the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe keeps that up, they can avert the situation and we won’t face any shortages but if they do not then food shortages are imminent,” said Mr Moyo. He said the issue of low balances in bank nostro accounts had also contributed to the challenges in international payments.

A nostro account is a bank depository held in a foreign country and denominated in the currency of that land. Such accounts essentially facilitate import and export payments especially in the case of inter-state transactions.

Meanwhile, companies have also released statements responding to the social media reports on basic commodity shortages. On Friday, Tongaat Hulett corporate affairs and communications manager Mrs Adelaide Chikunguru assured that nation that the company has adequate stocks of sugar.

“It has come to our attention that there are social media reports in circulation purporting that Tongaat Hulett operations in Zimbabwe namely Triangle and Hippo Valley estates have stopped sugar production. We have adequate stocks of sugar to meet full domestic sugar market requirements well into the 2017 production season,” she said.


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