THE BURDEN OF CONSUMERS
With Odongo Odoyo
Every now and then there are shouts from different organizations and institutions on reduction of prices of the basic commodities. These institutions have time and again asked traders to make these items affordable or pocket friendly to consumers. But that is how far the shouts have gone. Nothing has changed and prices continue to skyrocket without favour to the common-man’s pocket.Everyone understands the current economic situation and are well aware that some people cannot put a meal on the table. This situation would have been controlled if only the coronavirus which affected global economy did not occur. It is unfortunate that while everyone is trying to survive by all means, some petrol stations have increased their pump prices which in turn are forcing public transports to increase fares. Although there is justification in what is happening, the players are not considering the plight of the general public who wholly depend on public transport. As if this is not enough, the Covid-19 restrictions have created yet other problems which cannot make it easy for one to travel with public means. One just need to go to bus parks in the city in the evening to see for themselves human traffic or crowd waiting to board public transport. Some of the people have decided to trek to and from work in the morning and evening. Only petrol stations owned by Trinity Energy are still selling fuel at reasonable rates. These stations are jammed to the tilt both morning and evening with motorists intending to fuel. Indeed it would have fair if the petrol products were not increased at the moment because everyone is going through a difficult time. It is understood that petrol is sourced across the border and can only be traded on with possible profit. All in all the plight of the common-man should come first. The dealers will argue that the cost of importation is high, but what about the plight of the consumers. It would be appropriate if and when both sides are considered. Petrol price hike is definitely going to affect the already nosedived economy. It is going to make life unbearable to consumers. Most of the foodstuff and other basic needs are mostly imported. Importers are going to get excuses of increasing their goods. These organizations and institutions which are supposed to represent the interest of consumers and who have been shouting about the lowering of prices should come out to be real and do what is practically possible. They should look for a fair play deal that could accommodate all parties because basic items are not for only the common-man but for all citizens. Let talk little and act practically more. This could be one of the many ways that could help in controlling the continued price hike in the local market. It is no longer secret that even some of the hiked items are mostly contrabands leaving one wondering how they were brought in the country in the first place.