Current retail prices are pressing hard on household incomes in Kigali city and its outskirts.
Sugar and other domestic consumables have seen a sudden price increase all blamed on what government described as speculation.
Trade Minister Soraya Hakuziyaremye says that the rise in the prices of some commodities on the market is normal, but complained that some businessmen are speculating and overly taking advantage of the new price fluctuations.
She made the remarks on Monday in a press conference to address the rise in prices for some commodities such as sugar whose price has risen by Rwf300.
She said that the price increase is normal on the market because there are times when some commodities can’t be found or their demand is higher than supply.
“The problem lies in the fact that in some ways people increase prices excessively while the commodities are available in order to make more profits,” she said.
The minister advises buyers who are ripped off to report to the ministry or other institutions so that culprits are pursued.
Commenting on the current rise of sugar price, the minister said that every year, the Kabuye sugar plant usually closes temporarily in April for maintenance activities.
However, she explained that unlike previous years, this time it has been closed for two months which decreased sugar availability on the market.
“We has tried to talk with sugar distributors and importers, especially during these months when the Kabuye sugar plant is under maintenance. This takes place in April every year and affects sugar supply on the market,” she said.
Meanwhile, Hakuziyaremye notes that the government continues its target of selfsufficient to ensure there is enough commodities such as sugar, oil, soaps and construction materials.
“We managed to make efforts to look for investors in oil, sugar or soap industries in order to multiply them so that they can make the commodities part of what is made in Rwanda and meet market demands in the country,” she said.
Recently, when the relations between Rwanda and Uganda deteriorated, some businessmen subsequently increased the prices saying they were also buying at a higher cost.
Asked on the issue of the constant increase in the prices of commodities coming from Uganda, the Minister said that issues regarding these two countries are being discussed on a diplomatic level and also said that the ministry works hand in hand with the Private Sector Fund (PSF_Rwanda) to make sure commodities are available on the market and are supplied as needed.