The Herald (Harare)

7 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Parents in Panic Mode

There was hustling and jostling in the city centre yesterday, as parents did last minute shopping in preparation for the opening of schools tomorrow. Streets were awash with students, some who are still to go through their first day at school and parents wanting to buy them uniforms.

Business was brisk for street vendors and others had already hiked their prices, taking advantage of being the only ones available with the uniforms.

"I'm expecting to pocket at least US$500 today, though we have increased our prices a little bit, our items are still US$4 or US$5 cheaper than those in shops," said a vendor identified as Mai Passionate.

Enbee operations manager Mr Evans Mangwiro said business was lower than previous years due to the increase in the number of illegal vendors selling their wares in the front of their shops.

"It is not amusing that vendors are cheaper. We pay licences, corporate tax and even collect value added tax for the Government yet these people don't pay anything," she said.

Mrs Tsitsi Gatsi from Highfield said the increase in stationery and uniform prices was among parents' biggest challenges.

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