‘Food prices too high for the majority ahead of Christmas’

Residents here have complained against the increase in food prices in many areas ahead of end of the year festive season where prices of staple food doubled a week before Christmas.

At Kibaha Maili Moja area, the price of rice shot up to Sh1,600 per kilogramme from Sh1,200 paid previously, while the price of sugar has been raised to Sh1,800 from Sh1,500 per kilogramme before the start of the festive season.

The Citizen round up in Kibaha business centres found that most complaints were echoed by low income earners who said the prices were unassailable by  people who don’t have a stable income.

One of the residents, Monica Haule, called for government intervention rectify the problem, which she described as a catastrophe to low income earners.

The government must help us against these businessmen who use the holiday as a whip against needy people,” she complained.

But Mr Samson Mtonyi, also a resident of the district, claimed that high prices for staples could have been caused by low supply while there was a growing demand in most centres of the district.

“During Christmas period, many people have disposal incomes and this increases the demand for different commodities resulting in soaring prices, but after the festive season, most commodity prices normalise,” he noted.

However, he said it was unfair to capitalise on the demand to hurt people, the majority of them being low income earners.

Kibaha District commissioner Ms  Halima Kihemba, said she was making a thorough follow up on the issue to find out who had instigated the rise of food prices.

She promised to punish the traders if found  to have overcharged residents seeking to buy staple food in their shops.Residents here have complained against the increase in food prices in many areas ahead of end of the year festive season where prices of staple food doubled a week before Christmas.

At Kibaha Maili Moja area, the price of rice shot up to Sh1,600 per kilogramme from Sh1,200 paid previously, while the price of sugar has been raised to Sh1,800 from Sh1,500 per kilogramme before the start of the festive season.

The Citizen round up in Kibaha business centres found that most complaints were echoed by low income earners who said the prices were unassailable by  people who don’t have a stable income.

One of the residents, Monica Haule, called for government intervention rectify the problem, which she described as a catastrophe to low income earners.

The government must help us against these businessmen who use the holiday as a whip against needy people,” she complained.

But Mr Samson Mtonyi, also a resident of the district, claimed that high prices for staples could have been caused by low supply while there was a growing demand in most centres of the district.

“During Christmas period, many people have disposal incomes and this increases the demand for different commodities resulting in soaring prices, but after the festive season, most commodity prices normalise,” he noted.

However, he said it was unfair to capitalise on the demand to hurt people, the majority of them being low income earners.

Kibaha District commissioner Ms  Halima Kihemba, said she was making a thorough follow up on the issue to find out who had instigated the rise of food prices.

She promised to punish the traders if found  to have overcharged residents seeking to buy staple food in their shops.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Sanjito Msafiri, from Kibaha, Tanzania
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