Drive out touts, money changers 

Drive out touts, money changers 

Source: Drive out touts, money changers – DailyNews Live

STAFF WRITER      17 October 2018

HARARE – Recent events in the country will leave anyone – including those
outside Zimbabwe’s borders – having a rethink on our citizens’ claims to
being one of the most literate nations on the continent.

No-one would doubt that things are so bad in the country but surely there
is something that government can do urgently to protect the hapless
citizen.

Finance minister Mtuli Ncube – outlining his Transitional Stabilisation
Programme – announced that government would introduce a 2 percent tax on
all electronic transactions.

Of course, the policy smacks of all the marks of unfairness given that
Zimbabweans are the most heavily taxed in the region. Imposing another tax
was a sign of desperation on the part of the cash-strapped and highly
indebted government.

However, even before the tax was gazetted or operationalised, prices had
gone up on several commodities, including commuter fares, as the domino
effect of the policy announcement took effect.

While business has genuine concerns that are forcing them top increase the
price of commodities, there are some – bent on profiteering – who have
ambushed consumers and claim to have incurred unsubstantiated costs in
bringing commodities to shop shelves.

Such unscrupulous businesspeople can not be let to get away with such
demonic behaviour. In such case, government must surely protect the
suffering public. If it means licences of those who increase prices
without any justification are revoked, then so be it.

We have seen cases where bread – one of the basic commodities in the
country – had its price adjusted upwards on the basis of the shortage of
wheat.

That would be understandable but honestly when a retailer then increases
the price to beyond the recommended $1.10 – even going as high as $2,00
per loaf, when he has acquired it for less than a dollar, then it is
something else.

Commuter fares have been increased even though fuel prices have not gone
up and touts are the main culprits in this mess. The towns and cities had
acquired some measure of normalcy after vendors were driven out.
Authorities must thus nab the touts and money changers.

If President Emmerson Mnangagwa is serious, he must simply put in place
and enforce regulations that bar money changers and touts whether they are
operating from the streets or from shopping centres in residential areas
and rural settlements.

There is no way people can support policies – no matter how prudent – when
they make them suffer perpetually. Order has to return as a matter of
urgency.

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