Manufacturers are adamant they will continue supplying goods to unofficial traders (tuckshops) who exclusively pay in United States dollars.
This is despite pressure from the government for them to follow proper supply and distribution channels.
Last week, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Sithembiso Nyoni, said manufacturers are “killing” wholesalers and fomenting chaos in the market by bypassing wholesalers and directly supplying goods to retailers and informal traders.
However, an executive with a Harare-based manufacturing company, who preferred anonymity told Business Times that the Minister should engage industry rather than “spit venom”. Said the business executive:
"I don’t think [Industry and Commerce] Minister Stembiso Nyoni knows what we are going through to survive the current challenges.
We need a great deal of foreign currency but the whole economy is only limited to US$5m a week on the auction hence we need these cash payments from the informal traders to oil the industry.
We can’t be forced to supply N Richards, Metro Peech and Mohamed Mussa when they pay the Zimbabwean dollar after 45 days using the price of the delivery date at a time when they will be adjusting prices twice or thrice per week.
Instead of spitting venom, the minister should sit down with the industry and discuss what should be done to find common ground."
The president of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Kurai Matsheza, said manufacturers are not discriminating against anyone. He said:
"Manufacturers are bypassing nobody; they just distribute to whoever meets their trading terms best.
From our members all we hear is that they just want to have that dollar for their product as fast enough so that they are able to keep on producing; remain in business and grow."
Speaking during a tour of National Foods Holdings on Wednesday last week, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Nyoni said the Government will “address the distortions” in the supply chain of products.