Unscrupulous retailers in some of Bulawayo’s suburbs are exploiting lockdown rules to charge local dwellers exorbitant prices. Under lockdown rules people who live in a given area are only allowed to travel for a maximum of 5km if they want to go shopping. It seems shops in certain areas are conspiring to charge high prices knowing fully well that customers have no option.

A 2kg packet of sugar is selling for up to $95 in some shops in the western suburbs compared to $70 or less in the CBD while a 2- litre bottle of cooking oil is selling for $180 compared to $140 in the CBD.

A 2kg packet of flour is selling for $105 in the western suburbs yet it’s going for $80 or less in the CBD. Most shops in the western suburbs are selling a 2kg packet of rice for $100 while the same packet is selling for $90 or less in the CBD.

The Chronicle reporting on some of the wide disparities between CBD and suburb prices

People violate the lockdown to escape the menace

Faced with such exploitative behaviour and the fact that many are not going to work, a lot of people have therefore been forced to escape to the CBD, fleeing from these greedy retailers. This has the effect of reducing the effectiveness of the lockdown. Bulawayo has seen a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases this past week making the whole situation concerning.