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Chaminuka Provincial Newspapers

Consumers, commuters in Marondera embrace Zig


Staff Reporter

MARONDERA- The introduction of and distribution of the new Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) currency by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) early this month has been embraced by consumers and commuters in Marondera as it will go a long way in addressing the issue of change.

The new currency, which replaced the Zimbabwe dollar, is backed by a combination of gold, precious minerals and foreign currency reserves.

The ZiG notes and coins are being drip-fed into the market in denominations that range from ZiG1 to ZiG200.

Weekly cash withdrawal limits for individuals (ZiG3 000) and coorporates (ZiG) were also set by the central bank to manage the initial rollout.

Prior to that, consumers and commuters were being deprived of their change by transport operators especially those who travel in routes that normally costs US$0.50.

Some consumers would be forced to purchase goods that were of no essence to them to cover the change gap and commuters would resign to pay US$1 for trips that usually costs less than that amount.

“Personally, I think the introduction of the ZiG notes and coins is great news for me as a consumer. A few weeks before the distribution of the notes and coins, some retailers and even tuckshops were forcing us to purchase things that we did not plan to buy in the first place as they said they did not have the change to give back. That issue is going to be addressed by the availability of the ZiG notes and coins on the market,” Amos Karombo, a resident from Dombotombo said.

Vivian Chapfika who commutes to her workplace everyday from Cherutombo to town shared the same opinion.

She said: “The Cherutombo to town trip normally costs US$0.50 but in the days before the distribution of the ZiG notes and coins onto the market, the mushikashika and commuter omnibus crews were shortchanging us.

“In most cases, they simply ended up charging US$1 for such trips and took advantage of the commuting public’s desperation. That was an unfair practice and we had no choice but to play according to their whims.”

Since the introduction of the ZiG currency, big retail outlets in Marondera aligned with exchange rate requirements while in some instances, the small retailers and tuckshops continue to shortchange consumers through speculative tendencies, just like what some have been doing even before the introduction of ZIG.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) recently indicated that it will continue to engage Government to enhance the enforcement aspect as well as educate consumers on shopping tips and avoid service providers that use exorbitant rates.

The consumer rights watchdog also recommended for stiffer penalties or revoking licenses for those promoting speculative tendencies.

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