Sundry imports gobble millions

HARARE – Zimbabweans have blown US$3.4 million on imported disposable napkins in just a month.

\n

\n

Figures released by Zimbabwe National Statistics (ZIMSTAT) also show that Zimbabweans imported US$7 million worth of beverages as the country continues to spend money on luxuries.

\n

At a time, Zimbabwe has been struggling with liquidity challenges, figures released by the ZIMSTAT paint a disturbing spending culture by local consumers.

\n

The figure released by ZIMSTAT only takes into account goods officially declared at border posts but there are genuine fears the figure could be double considering the rampant smuggling of goods into the country.

\n

ZIMSTAT figures also reveal a shameful importing culture as the country imported toothpicks worthy US$215 000 and toilet paper worthy nearly US$1 milllion.

\n

US$2.1 million was spent on importing exercise books.

\n

For a country with a struggling economy, Zimbabweans used a staggering US$7 million in importing wines, beer and other beverages in January alone.

\n

Considering the smuggling of drinks such as the now common dragon and twizza, the figure could easily be around US$10 million and by December the country will have used around US$120 million in importing drinks and beverages.

\n

Beauty and make-up skin care products imported in January alone cost the country over US$1 million.

\n

Perfumes, shampoos, door frames, chewing gums, cornflakes, tomatoes, canned products and processed milk accounted for 45 percent of the total value for imported commodities.

\n

Zimbabwe imported goods valued at US$538 million in January resulting in a trade deficit of US$207 million.

\n

If the trend continues, by December the country will have a trade deficit of US$2.5 billion.

\n

According to ZIMSTAT, South Africa accounts for 60 percent of the imports followed by China and the United Arab Emirates.