Mozambique’s National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE) says it has slapped fines on several shops in the western province of Tete for price speculation and for selling goods past their expiry date during the festive season. Speaking at a press conference in Tete city on Thursday to drew up a balance sheet on the festive season, INAE provincial delegate, Ofelio Jeremias, said that quantities of expired goods had been seized because they posed a threat to public health and the traders concerned have been fined a total of $20,000.
“After tip-offs from citizens, we went to the shops in question and we found that some products were sold without labels, and others with irregular labels”, said Jeremias.
As for speculation, the Tete branch of INAE found cases of shops that had more than doubled the price of rice.
In those shops, a 25 kilo sack of rice that had formerly been sold for $10 now cost $23 with their dealers also hiking the price for five litres of cooking from $4 to $7.
Jeremias said that goods sold at these exorbitant prices were immediately confiscated and their owners fined.
Over the festive season INAE inspected 157 shops, industries and restaurants and the official believed the exercise had been positive, and had helped control prices.
“This was thanks to the work we did preparing for the festive season and since we held meetings with wholesalers and retailers, both in Tete city and in the districts” he said.