Cashing in on the crisis

Sinqobile Tessa
ENTERPRISING: Fuel attendants

Zimbos have really mastered the art of making a quick buck wherever some commodity is in short supply or whenever there is a crisis.

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I know it makes business sense to supply and meet the demands of the consumer but some of our situations are different stories altogether.

Of late there has been maize and subsequently mealie meal shortages resulting in the price of both commodities more than doubling.

The government then introduced subsidized maize to millers who were duly expected to produce the mealie-meal at gazetted prices that the masses can afford.

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Sadly, that mealie meal, which should sell at ZWL$250 (P120) for 50kg, never finds its way to the shops. Instead it is being sold for more by people who can lay their hands on it.

In other words, by the end of the year, people working at milling companies including the grain marketing board will be super rich and probably driving new cars and owning properties.

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Picture this, a security guard at the grain marketing board would buy the mealie meal at the above price then sell it for probably ZWL$350 (P152.25), which is still cheaper than the shops and at the black market.

If other people like myself go direct to the marketing board or any milling company, we will be told there is no mealie meal hence we rely on those who work there.

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So back to the security guard who would resell the mealie meal at a high price.

Imagine if he sells 20 bags a week, he makes his cool P645 profit – and if the situation continues until year ends, he would make more than enough to import a Honda Fit from Japan!

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This also reminds me of how fuel attendants are making easy cash by demanding bribes from motorists who wish to fill up their tanks and their jerry cans.

These attendants feel important because their commodity is in short supply and much sought after.

But who can blame them? The ‘eating’ mentality is now a part of our genetic makeup such that we are all always looking for means and ways to make that extra quick buck without any care about the next person.

That’s what our leaders are doing anyway; they are so engrossed with lining their pockets and can’t be bothered about our misery as masses.

In an interview with one of the local Sunday papers, former advisor to the current president, Christopher Mutsvangwa implied that the current internal squabbles within Zanu PF were as a result of controlling the gravy train.

Everyone at the top wants to chomp the money so those feeling left out will obviously make noise.

That’s the sad reality of the Zimbabwe we live in!

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