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Opinion / Columnist

Protect the rural poor from unscrupulous businesses

07 Aug 2020 at 18:10hrs | Views
The pricing system by some traders seem well calculated and calibrated to circumvent SI 185 that compels using forex auction rate.

To avoid being on a collision course with the law, shop owners have raised the forex prices for goods and services so that when converting to rtgs prices for same, huge returns are realized. Returns with hallmarks reflecting a thriving black market pricing system.

Are the enforcers not seeing this chicanery encapsuled as good business acumen by such traders? It takes good people doing nothing for evil to prevail, a law with no enforcement is not helpful and can not protect the poor consumers who continue being at the mercy of these unscrupulous businesses.

A snap survey will show a price rise on forex priced items in those shops now doing dual pricing using the 'good intentions' foreign currency auction rate.

In rural areas most shop owners have chosen to ignore the SI 185 directive and in the absence of policing and enforcement, who can blame them. This is happening at great prejudice to the rural poor who are in most cases voiceless.

Only US$ prices are showing on all items, the ZWL price will be given to you on request with some shops out rightly refusing to accept our currency. M-Money transfer purchases will leave one far much more poorer than before since the rate used can only be described as ghostly and extortionist, at worst, usurious.

Consumers expect consumer friendly laws to be enforced so they can also buy bread not (kutikuvadza ne mbambaira) as the Chinhoyi wonder kid would say in that trending video. Random visits by officers of the law to rural business centres would reveal day light robbery by some traders bent on fleecing the masses.

Enforcing use of the auction exchange rate can never be called price control neither can enforcement of correct dual pricing and display. Protect the rural population, they may be poor but have got strong memory. Devolution for provincial development. Embrace the 'Pfumvudza' farming system for abundant grain.

And remember, Covid-19 is real and it kills.

Thomas Tondo. Chinehasha.

Source - Thomas Tondo
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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