SEVERAL villagers in Chirumanzu’s Ward 7 in the Midlands province have resorted to bartering maize for basic household goods such as sugar, flour and cooking oil as they cannot afford prices of these commodities.
Villagers are exchanging a 20-litre bucket of maize for a 2kg packet of sugar from urbanites in the nearby mining town of Mashava and Masvingo, who are cashing in on their desperate plight.
A villager, Constance Mariko, said they had no access to cash hence the use of maize as a form of payment.
“People from surrounding towns come with various commodities that we need on a daily basis, but as things stand, cash is hard to come by here, so we use maize to get sugar, salt and cooking oil,” said Mariko.
A worker at the nearby asbestos Mashaba Mine, Durban Dube, said he goes to the village with basics and exchanges them for maize before reselling the grain for a profit.
Dube said he was surviving on this business as Mashava Mine has failed to pay workers over the years.
“What I do is just look for a little capital to buy basic commodities. When I go to the villages, I exchange a 2kg packet of sugar for a 20 litre bucket of maize,” he said.