University of Zambia (UNZA) traders have taken advantage of the removal of subsidies to exaggerate prices at the University. UNIVERSITY of Zambia (UNZA) traders have taken advantage of the removal of subsidies to peg prices at higher rates than they are outside the institution.
This has raised concerns among students and questioned the methods used by UNZA traders to fix their prices.
A second year student in the school of Education Alice Mwale, complained on the increase of commodity prices at the institution.
“It is very irrational on how traders within campus price their goods making profits that are way over normal and backing up themselves on the basis of subsidy removals. Before the removal of subsidies, a 25kg bag of mealie meal was priced at K55, and later rose to K57. But when you come into campus, a 25kg bag of mealie meal is sold at K63,” she complained.
And a trader at Kafue Hostels entrance Jane Mwanza told the Lusaka Star that she could not see anything wrong with fixing prices of her commodities.
She explained that the transportation costs were high hence increasing prices helped her make enough profits to cover her expenses.
Meanwhile, University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) Business Affairs Secretary Peter Chikubula, stated that prices at UNZA had gone up due to Zambia’s free market economy policy which allows traders to fix prices of their goods.
Mr. Chikubula, who is also in the Business Premises Allocations Committee (BPAC), said the raising of prices was a serious issue that needed urgent attention.
“This issue should not have even popped up in the first place, because traders who use shops only pay a rent of K250, whilst those who sell tomatoes and other vegetables rent their spaces at only K50 per month, which is cheaper compared to the rent they would pay outside UNZA,” he lamented.
BPAC is an association under the Office of the Dean of The University of Zambia which allocates trading spaces to traders on campus.
He has since warned that all traders in the habit of overpricing their commodities would be forced to vacate their trading spaces.