KWEKWE — Minister of Finance Tendai Biti has branded men who buy their wives undergarments from flea markets as failures who deserve to have the spouses taken away from them.
Addressing a budget consultative meeting recently, Biti said he was shocked to learn that the most important and basic women’s clothing was now being imported and sold at flea markets.
“I am told we are now even importing women’s underwear in this country, how does that happen?” Biti said.
“If you are a husband and you see your wife buying underwear from the flee market you would have failed.
“If I was your in-law I would take my daughter and urge you to first put your house in order if you still want her back.”
The minister blamed unscrupulous businesspeople who priced basics beyond the reach of many people to the extent that they were forced to get underwear sold from flea markets.
“We have a problem of ill displine with our businesspeople,” he said.
“The government has guaranteed you that we will not arrest anyone because of price controls.
“Doing so is primitive and fascist, but some of you still think you have to make margins of 30% profit in this era of dollarisation.
“The problem is that you are taking long to wean yourselves from the ugly practices of the hyperinflation era.
“If you are making returns of 7% you are doing well, if you make 20% you must be underpaying your workers or not paying tax, 30% you must be in Chikurubi because you are a criminal,” Biti said.
In the run-up to 2005 parliamentary elections, an aspiring Zanu PF candidate for Kadoma constituency, Jamaya Muduuri, distributed underwear at his campaign rallies.
“This is a basic need that most women can’t afford and I find it prudent to provide for them,” Muduuri sai at that time.
Undergarments in most shops are selling at over $3, while at flea markets four can be bought for $1.