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on coins and tokens as a form of change in wholesale and retail
Resources Foundation (LRF)
October 19, 2011
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The use of multi
currency in Zimbabwe since 2009 has witnessed a number of successes
and challenges. Chief among the challenges is the difficulty to
access and use coins. As a way of getting round this challenge retailers
and wholesalers have resorted to a variety of measures. These include
the issuing of credit vouchers which the purchaser can redeem in
a few instances, from the same or similar outlet for value of change
In other cases,
petty goods like sweets, shoe polish, razor blades, matches etc
have been offered in place of the change that a customer is owed.
The few outlets which have managed to access coins, mainly in Rand
form, have used these as change with some using that day's
exchange rate and any other rate they chose.
The above quoted scenarios have seen customers making do with goods
which they have no need for or being confined to conducting their
shopping to those same outlets so that they are able to redeem the
credit vouchers. In other instances people have to buy more than
what they need so that the need for change does not arise.
have seen heated exchanges between the customers and the shopkeepers
as they try to reach a compromise on the mode of change or to call
off the sale outright for want of change. From a customer perspective,
it is clear that multi-currency use has exposed them to an unfair
trade practice where they no longer enjoy freedom to shop where
they want and to receive the exact change due to them. In extreme
cases, customers have abandoned the change due to them, thus unjustly
enriching the retailers and wholesalers concerned. In view of these
scenarios, this document is designed to explain why this is happening
as well as suggest possible solutions.
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