IT is with a deep sense of sorrow that on October 19 2014 an avid follower of this column, my fierce critic and yet my number one fan was called to rest.
I will miss the invaluable feedback that I got from him, but I am now even more inspired as a writer for his spirit lives on.
Till we meet again Stanley Simeon Magida my father and friend, I know you are resting well waiting for the appointed time. So much for that, let me get on with the business of the day.
The introduction of coins into the Zimbabwean economic system will obviously be a welcome development and will free the retail sector and all such sectors of the problems of change that have been of great concern to both the customers and the business.
The change situation has been and will be chaotic, just to put it mildly as we await these coins, and also bearing in mind that we are approaching the busier time of the year for most retail concerns.
Pricing issues which have also been of great concern will hopefully be dealt with as the businesses will be able to price “correctly”.
The prices of basic commodities such as bread and, of course, newspapers are way too high in the current situation.
The excuse for business was that it was more efficient to round up to the nearest dollar so as to rid them of the trouble of getting change.
This will have to be reconsidered when the coins are introduced. Items will have to be priced right and this will in some instances entail price reduction of some commodities.
About a month ago, I contributed a similar article in The Zimbabwe Independent.
The response that I received was overwhelming and, therefore, inspired this article.
I was inundated with questions as to what currency the coins would come in.
I am not surprised that people are concerned as they envision a time like the bearer’s cheque situation.
Most contributors were concerned that any other coin besides the actual South African rand coin or the United States dollar coin denominations would be a “joke” to put it in one reader’s actual words.
Many were concerned that if the government was minting coins based on these denominations but were not the actual money, then it would be as good as the bearer’s cheque system that was only acceptable within the borders and failed dismally in this country.
Many indicated that they would not be keen to carry such change home. Some even indicated that they would much rather continue with the sweets for change and credit note systems than to walk out of shop with dummy money.
It is, therefore, my hope that the powers-that-be have considered these and other concerns that have been brought up and will deliver the real thing in time for the festive season.
It is also my hope that someone somewhere is concentrating on the economy in the current scenario that seems to be enveloping the government.
But lest I get into areas where I am far from qualified, let me come back to the confines of this column.
On another note, I happened to be in Gweru last week and I must say I was appalled at the outlook of that city. It was so dirty and was not the same as I used to know it.
As I drove along the main road, I could not understand why the city council allows vendors to crowd the pavements making it very difficult for shoppers to access shops.
The situation was worse in front of OK Zimbabwe and TM supermarkets. I do not even remember now if that particular branch has been rebranded to Pick n Pay because I could not even read the signage well.
What I saw was a terrible eyesore and I was so grateful that I had no business in any of the two shops.
I have often thought that the Gweru City Council has a laissez faire attitude in running the city and I could not help but confirm this last week. Please may the relevant authorities take note?
Till next week, keep reading the red publication and remain brand savvy.