RUKWA: PRICES of sugar in most retail shops in Rukwa region have surged above the indicative prices ranging between 5,400/ and 6,000/- per kilogramme against the current indicative prices.
Some retail shops sold the commodity secretly to escape facing the full force of the law.
As per the Tanzania Sugar Board (TSB), the indicative sugar prices for wholesale in Rukwa remain between 2,600/- to 2,800/- while the retail is 3,200/-.
A spot survey conducted by this paper today shows that sugar dubbed ‘brown ‘ and ‘ white ‘ is smuggled from neighbouring Zambia at 3,400/- per kilo at wholesale but sold between 5,400/- and 6,000/ at some retail shops in Sumbawanga municipality.
A retail trader Ms Maria John from Jangwani area in Sumbawanga Municipality said they are dire shortage of sugar and traders compelled to buy smuggled sugar from neighbouring Zambia.
“The situation is worse as some traders are forced to secretly sell sugar at hiked prices,” she said yesterday.
Meanwhile, Katavi Regional Commissioner Ms Mwanamvua Mrindoko issued a warning that she will never hesitate to take legal measures against a few traders hiking sugar prices arbitrarily on the pretext of a shortage of the commodity in the market because it hurts the citizens.
“The days of the defiant traders are numbered,” the RC said.
“There are some unscrupulous businesspeople in Katavi who want to make big profits by raising sugar prices.”
The RC said she was prompted to issue the warning following a report that sugar prices in most retail shops in Katavi region have currently surged above the indicative prices, fluctuating between 4,000/- and 5,000/- per kilo.
According to her, as per the Tanzania Sugar Board (TSB), the indicative sugar prices for wholesale in Katavi remain between 2,600/- to 2,800/- while the retail is 3,200/-.
“I urge traders in the region the retail price of sugar must not exceed 3,200/- per kilo short of that they will face the full force of the law,” she warned.
The TSB indicative sugar prices remain between 2,800/- to 3,200/- per kilogramme depending on the geographical location in Rukwa, Kigoma and Katavi Region wholesale price is between 2,600 and 2,800/- while the retail price is 3,200/-.
“The indicative prices is the same for Katavi, Rukwa and Kigoma so there is no justification for price hike, either based on production fall or increased transport costs,” she explained.