Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

How many for a dollar?

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There’s an email newsletter called The Harare Informant that occasionally does the rounds. I like it because its so down to earth and covers bread and butter issues. In the latest issue of The Harare Informant, Mufaro Zhou writes about how much we need change – coins that is! Of course many of us want positive political change as well; what a pity the GNU hasn’t provided it. But when you go shopping you’ll seldom be given change; instead you’re asked to accept a credit note for 12c or you’re forced to buy a bubble gum or something like that. Mufaro had this to say . . .

How many for a dollar?
The advent of the US dollar as the major trading currency in Harare has brought with it many opportunities and terms for people in business. The most common term I can think of is, “dollar for two.” Lately we have seen the rise of “dollar for many.” These terms have also driven some corporates to adopt them in their marketing. Yor Fone is currently advertising using the term “dollar for five.” Guess this means you get to make at most five short calls or simply a single five minute call for one dollar. Either way you look at it, you still have to part with a dollar and use their service for five minutes whether you like it or not. I bet you this is the only city in the world where you have to spend at least a dollar in anything you want to procure no matter how small. One only needs to start doing a research before fully determining the long list of all the products that are being sold in at least double the quantity for a dollar. With no solution in sight of determining the single currency to be officially used in Zimbabwe we the customers will still suffer from parting with at least a dollar (8 Rands) all the time we spend money. It is therefore imperative for the country to seek authorization to officially use the US dollar for the benefit of its citizens. That way we can have access to coins (US cents) making life easier and relatively cheaper for the common man. Why not even go the Mozambique way of officially trading in 3 currencies concurrently. At least life in Bulawayo is better because of their use of the Rand. I don’t know where people get all those Rand coins from leading to commodities being priced from 1 Rand (12 cents) making life improved for residents in Bulawayo. At least with such a pricing system you are not forced to buy something in abundance simply because the smallest denomination in use forces you to. If you are to buy anything abundantly in Bulawayo it will be out of choice, if forced by the smallest denomination then at least it’s only for a Rand.

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