Traders hike prices for New Year fetes

GASABO - Traders in the Kigali’s main food market of Kimironko adjusted food prices upwards yesterday as clients shopped in large numbers to ensure pleasant meals in their homes during New Year celebrations.
A Lady buys meat at Kimironko market Yesterday. (Photo/ G.Barya)
A Lady buys meat at Kimironko market Yesterday. (Photo/ G.Barya)

GASABO - Traders in the Kigali’s main food market of Kimironko adjusted food prices upwards yesterday as clients shopped in large numbers to ensure pleasant meals in their homes during New Year celebrations.

Products like meat, tomatoes, fresh peas, banana and most foodstuffs were not all selling at ordinary prices but regardless, Kimironko market was packed with more consumers than in ordinary days.

“God planned well for me today. It is the first time I have sold all of my tomatoes in one day,” said Maria Nyirabwimana who sold three baskets of tomatoes yesterday.

Her and other dealers in the market increased at least Rwf 100 on their ordinary price for tomatoes to make it vary between Rwf 500 and 600 per kilogramme instead of 400.

Beef prices were increased from Rwf 1700 to 1800 per kilogramme while fresh peas were being sold at Rwf 800 instead of the ordinary 500. Most consumers who talked to The New Times also said that prices for condiments almost doubled.

“All of those that have been trading at Rwf 50 have doubled to cost 100,” said one of the clients as she referred to the price of onions.

Another product that was on high demand in the market yesterday were green bananas whose price shot up from the  normal Rwf 130 per kilogramme to 150.

“Prices have been hiked and I don’t think it is easy for the everyday person in this market,” said Christine Murebwayire, one of the shoppers and a mother of two.

An official at the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) said that price adjustments that dealers made on food products yesterday can be called a normal situation given the extent of their increase because Rwanda has a policy of ‘liberalized economy’ where government does not fix prices unless if it is an alerting situation.

“It has to be an exceptional situation for the government to intervene,” said Veneranda Mukamurera who is in charge of Consumer Protection with RURA.

But she disclosed that the agency was monitoring transport, water, electricity, and communication prices during in order to protect consumers where necessary.

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