.Prices of most essential commodities have gone up in Chipata Eastern province following the increment in fuel prices after government removed subsidies on fuel.
A Random survey conducted by ZANIS in the Central Business District revealed that prices of goods especially food stuffs such as bread, mealie meal, cooking oil, sugar and cement among others have been hiked by between KR1 and KR2.
Traders talked to have attributed the increase to the adjustment in fuel pump prices which have been effected.
Most traders explained that the change in fuel prices has affected both the production and transportation of goods and services.
A check at Spar, Shoprite, Saturday and Kapata markets revealed that a 25 kilograms bag of National Milling breakfast maize meal selling between K60 and K65 from the recommended K55, a 2 Kilogram packet of white spoon sugar is now selling between K16 from K17.
While, a 50 Kilogram bag of Chilanga cement in most hardware in the district has been pegged at K73 and K75 from the previous K65.
Samuel Mwale a hardware dealer at down shops trading centre said the price hike has been necessitated by the increase in transport fares.
Mr. Mwale alleged that Chilanga cement has also increased the ordering price of the commodity by K1.
“Business is not easy now, chilanga cement has also raised the ordering price plus transportation which has become expensive we have no choice but to as change prices,” he said.
And another trader Bridget Mambwe of Kapata market noted that the hike in fuel has not just affected transportation but everything especially people from outside Lusaka.
Ms Mambwe noted that a lot of things are only found in Lusaka, hence traders have to travel from other parts of the country to buy the goods for resale.
She explained that this has posed a challenge to many business people to continue with their businesses.
And consumers also have expressed mixed feelings on the abrupt changes in the prices of essential commodities.
Susan Tembo said the traders should have put in to consideration the high cost of living and not just come up with prices increments of more than K1.
Ms Tembo noted that despite the hike in fuel prices the, increment in goods especially foods have gone beyond the 16 percent.
“I think the traders have taken advantage of this increment and want to exploit the consumers it is not fair, how can something sugar be hiked by more than K2,”she said.