Yesterday I went to the shops together with my wife, and when we were checking in different shops and comparing prices I met my young brother with his wife also doing the same thing. Most people think we are twins but we are not, the only difference is that I wear spectacles and my young brother doesn’t.
Anyway the four of us holding our plastic bags walked around the shop buildings rubbing shoulders with vendors displaying their wares of tomatoes, onions, potatoes etc.
My young brother had bought a packet of Chimombe fresh milk for Z$5,000 from a vendor who had packs under his little table – one that is easy to carry when being chased by the police. As I approached the vendor he greeted me with a loud voice: “Aah murungu auya” meaning someone with money. All because of the spectacles.
Then I asked how much a packet of Chimombe was, and guess what? “Only Z$6,000!” he said smiling. But before I handed over the money my young brother quickly asked the vendor why he was charging me more than what he had sold it to him for. The vendor looked at my young brother with bloodshot eyes trying to stop him from telling me the right price.
The vendor later gave me the milk at Z$5,000 each. So that means these vendors will price their wares according to the appearance of the approaching customer. If you wear spectacles, drive a car, and appear or look smart the prices differ.
I had to buy the milk from the vendor because there was none to be found elsewhere in the shops. Nor other things like sugar, cooking oil, flour, etc. These products are only available at vendors’ little tables neatly supported by broken bricks on the road.
Even though the milk is delivered by the official Dairibord trucks it is quickly sold to vendors for resale at exorbitant prices.