Renamo attacks contribute to rising prices

Tete (Mozambique), (AIM) – The ambushes by gunmen of the rebel movement Renamo against trucks on major roads is pushing up prices in the western Mozambican city of Tete.

renamo6The Tete provincial director of industry and trade, Joao Feliciano, told reporters on Tuesday that basic goods such as maize flour, rice, eggs, sugar and cooking oil are rising in price because the amount supplied in Tete shops is lower than the demand from consumers.

These goods mostly come from other provinces and businesses are reluctant to send large amounts to Tete, for fear that if their trucks come under attack during the journey, they will lose everything. The road from the port of Beira to Tete, via the city of Chimoio, has been repeatedly hit by Renamo gangs, and large trucks are among their favourite targets.

“We spoke with the economic agents”, said Feliciano. “They say they cannot bring large amounts to Tete, because they fear that they might lose everything on the way. The small amounts they bring encourage price speculation, but we, the Government, are making them aware of the problem, explaining that the Mozambican government is working to bring the politico-military tension to an end”.

He said his directorate is monitoring price fluctuations. “We explained to the traders that price rises should not be exorbitant, because that punishes citizens. We told them there should not be any price speculation, despite the politico-military situation”.

The opportunism of the Tete shopkeepers is very clear. When goods are running scarce they hike the prices, but in weeks where more goods have reached the city, they sometimes even drop the prices. This is a twisted version of free market economics brought about by military pressure.

Post published in: Africa News

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