Ministry of trade and industry has fined several traders in Kigali for unlawfully hiking prices.
The outcome of the City-wide inspection carried out on Thursday show that more than 24 businesses in Nyarugenge, Kicukiro and Gasabo major markets and trading centres were fined Rwf1.6 million for taking advantage of the coronavirus outbreak and charge more for the products contrary to the ministry directives.
According to the ministry, inspected companies and business people abnormally increased prices of some food products namely rice, maize flour, cooking oil and sugar while others were using unapproved weighing scales, and issuing illegal invoices.
“Businesses have been fined and some have been instructed to temporarily suspend their business activities,” reads the ministry statement.
“We continue to urge the business community to abide by the law and stop unlawful hiking of prices,” it added.
The ministry had on March 16 fixed prices for key goods after it emerged that markets took advantage of the coronavirus outbreak and increased prices of foods especially staples.
Prices of most items such as beans, sugar, Irish potatoes and cooking oil among others rose by between 10 to 25 per cent as households rushed to stock enough of the goods shortly after the country confirmed the first coronavirus infection on March 14.
The number of cases since rose to 11 cases as at March 19.
The ministry indicates that there was no need for hike of prices as traders were selling goods stocked during the past two not three months when costs were stable.