THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has urged consumers to shun retailers refusing to embrace electronic transactions as the country migrates to use of plastic money due to shortages of hard cash.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In an interview with NewsDay, CZR president Denford Mutashu said it was sad that there were some retailers who were refusing to embrace plastic and mobile money when 96% of transactions in the economy were attributable to the ‘new normal’.
“Customers are urged to shun such businesses and never to patronise them when the economy improves in all facets,” Mutashu said.
“We are going ahead with nationwide campaigns to educate consumers on the effective use of plastic and mobile money and the risks and dangers they should look out for as part of strengthening the new wave of transacting,” he said.
A number of Chinese-owned businesses across the country are refusing to embrace plastic and mobile money, raising fears that they are externalising cash.
Mutashu said they were working closely with authorities like the central bank and the financial services sector in ensuring increased distribution of point ofsale machines countrywide.
So far about 70 000 machines have been distributed and up from about 35 000 around same period last year, he said.
“We are happy with progress,” he said. The organisation would soon be meeting with the vendors’ and informal traders’ representatives to map way forward on how they could work together “but suffice to say we will embrace the proposal they have come up with in decongesting towns and cities by moving informal them to properly designated areas.”
He said the current shelf space in formal retail and wholesale continues to tilt in favour of locally manufactured goods due to revival efforts on industrialisation.
“Formal retailers and wholesalers should be commended for supporting local manufacturers and currently 80% of shelf space is local goods while the remainder is imports. We still have challenges but the progress is commendable,” he said.
On the CZR Retail Price Index, Mutashu said work was in progress and “I must harness to say we have not posted the first results as we are finalising a partnership with a United Kingdom-based institution that has offered a very good proposal to strengthen the index. We have signed memorandum of understandings and finalising in the operating document.”