ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has banned exports of all food commodities as an immediate measure to curb shortages and price hike.
According to the statement availed to the media by the Zanzibar Directorate of Presidential Communications Unit, the President imposed the ban while speaking to Muslims during the Friday prayers at Shifaa Mosque located at Mwembetanga in the Urban West Region, Zanzibar.
Dr Mwinyi also instructed the traders to release food they have stored in warehouses in order to curb shortages and the increasing prices.
He said the act by traders to hoard food has caused inconveniences to the people of Zanzibar.
Dr Mwinyi said that Pemba was hit by food shortage but after talking to traders the situation has normalised.
According to Dr Mwinyi, his government will ensure that food prices continue to drop calling upon traders to purchase enough stock of food as Muslims approach the Holy Month of Ramadan to curb shortage especially flour, rice, sugar and edible oil.
Executive Secretary from the Office of the Chief Mufti of Zanzibar Khalid Ali Mfaume called upon Muslims to be cautious against homosexuality.
He urged parents and guardian to be careful in making follow-up of their children to ensure that they don’t get exposed to contents which could ruin their behaviours.
The ban comes as Mainland also experiences the same challenge of price hike of food products.
Last year, Deputy Minister for Investment, Industry and Trade, Mr Exaud Kigahe said the government would continue to monitor the situation before taking measures to ensure reasonable supply of food and reduce the inflationary pressure. Inflationary pressure is the pressure exerted on the economy that increases prices. It primarily brings on inflation.
According to Mr Kigahe, the trend in price hike indicates that some products’ prices have increased as a result of the fall in production during the 2021/2022 farming season.
He mentioned some of the food items whose prices have increased as maize, maize flour, rice, beans, potatoes, wheat flour, sugar and cooking oil, adding that the produces have been affected by shortage of rains during the agriculture season.
“The government continues to monitor this trend of rising food prices and if there are regions that face shortages, we will use our national reserve by selling the produces at a lower price. We warn businessmen not to take advantage of the shortage and raise prices,” he underscored.
Mr Kigahe said the price of maize has increased to 1,890/- per kilogramme from 1,500/- per kilogramme in November while rice has increased from 3,200/- per kilo to 3,500/-. The price of a kilogramme of potatoes in Dar es Salaam, Njombe and Mbeya has hiked to 1,875/- from 688/- in the previous month.