Rwanda fines over 100 businesses for inflating food prices over Covid-19
London, March 30, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Rwanda has fined over 100 traders in March for hiking food prices and profiting from the coronavirus pandemic.
Other traders and businesses according to the government could face similar actions or would even have their licenses revoked in an attempt to protect consumers.
Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Soraya M. Hakuziyaremye, said the move by the government would keep prices down and not compound the plights of people.
Minister Hakuziyaremye is already supervising regular inspection of markets and trading centres to identify culprits defying directives on pricing.
The government said all traders must maintain prices for their goods at rates used prior to the pandemic. They are also to display the prices of their goods openly.
To deal with the issue, the government has also fixed prices for commodities such as charcoal which has become scarce but required by families to cook.
The government has also warned citizens against panic buying and hoarding of food.
Rwanda is currently on a lockdown which will last deeper into April. The country has recorded over 70 cases of coronavirus as at March 30, 2020.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame has already ordered for Rwandans badly hit by the current total lockdown to be supported with food and other basic needs.
The lockdown which came into force on March 21, 2020 has left many Rwandans facing social and economic challenges.
Kagame said his government was well aware of Rwandans facing challenges especially those whose livelihoods had been interrupted promising intervention.
Since Saturday March 28, families badly hit have been receiving free food delivery services at their doors.