Bread is now a rare commodity in the shops. The dispute between bakers and the authorities is leading to arrests and questioning.
According to representatives of the bakers they prefer to use the imported flour because it is of higher quality, thus requiring them to increase the price of bread. The authorities however are of the view that the flour being produced locally is sold at a price which merits the reduction of the price of bread.
The tug of war continues while the consumers suffer the consequences. The government needs to have equipment that would be able to check the quality of food products to ensure food safety. In this way, allegations could be tested and the facts disseminated to counter contrary opinions. In the same vein, the country should begin to see the importance of unions and other associations as bargaining instruments to resolve disputes on wages and prices.
We therefore hope that the ministry concerned will consider these two issues as long term means of addressing the problem. In the short run there is need to sit down with all stakeholders and come to a decision as quickly as possible since many businesses, especially those who sell food to school children, vendors and workers are beginning to collapse because of lack of access to bread.