Kabwe residents suspects leading retail outlets of stealing


Concerned residents in Kabwe have complained against Shoprite and Hungry Lion for not giving them their full change every time they purchase goods from the two shops.

The irate residents told ZANIS in a survey interview carried out this morning that since the kwacha was rebased early last week, the shops have not been giving them their change accordingly.

One of the concerned customers, Alidah Mwanza complained that according to the rebased kwacha, the shops are supposed to give them their actual change in accordance with their prices but that this is not the case at the two renowned shops.

Ms Mwanza alleged that from the time the government rebased the kwacha, she has not been receiving correct change even when it amounted to smaller denominations where coins could be used.

She said according to the pricing of goods and food stuffs in the two shops, part of the change is supposed to be in Ngwees but that she has not seen any Shop Assistant giving her the exact amount after making her purchases.

Ms Mwanza said she suspects that some Shop Assistants were obviously stealing from the customers in pretence that they did not have the coins.

She said it should not be a struggle for people to get their actual balances after making their purchase and appealed to the two shops to stop stealing from the customers, especially those who could not tell the difference.

And Mwitwa Chuma who also echoed the same sentiments complained that the behaviour by the two shops was not strange because they had been doing that even in the old system.

Mr Chuma said he did not understand why it has taken so long for the two shops to find coins to give to the customers, eleven days after the kwacha was rebased.

He explained that he once confronted a cashier at Shoprite who told him that the coins were scarce as not many customers used them to purchase the goods.

He described this as a lame excuse saying it is not the duty of the customers to come up with coins for the supermarket to have change but that the shop can go to the bank and collect the much needed coins to avoid unnecessary speculations.

And Mutinta Sichilima said she is disappointed with Hungry Lion because each time she purchases food stuffs from the restaurant she is told that they cannot give her change because there are no coins.

Ms Sichilima said this is unreasonable because there is no way the restaurant can be giving a fake excuse to customers when everyone in the country knows that the coins are available in all banking institutions.

She said small as the amounts may seem, they are essential to the Zambians and everyone should be given change according to their purchase.

She said she has had a similar experience with Shoprite where the Shop Assistants always claim not to have coins in their tills.

Ms Sichilima therefore, suggested that the shops rounds off their prices if they are not competent enough with the new system, rather than stealing money from the customers.

But Shoprite and Hungry Lion Management have denied the allegations saying they have been giving customers their change accordingly.

Shoprite Kabwe Branch Manager, who declined to give his identity, dismissed reports by customers saying his shop had adequate change to cater for all shoppers.

He said it is only when the shop ran out of change that they did not give the customers, otherwise, in most cases customers were being reminded to wait for change.

“No! Those are false reports because as far as I know, we have been giving customers their actual change but it is just in few instances when we do not have the change or cannot access it from the bank,” he said.

And his counterpart at Hungry Lion, who also declined to give her identity, equally refuted the allegations saying there was enough change for everyone.

She said nothing much has changed at the restaurant apart from the rebased currency which has seen the introduction of coins.

She added that the coins are ever available at the restaurant and it is saddening to learn that some people are already making up stories because every customer got what was due to them.

The two managers also took some time to check through the tills with ZANIS officers who equally proved that there were enough coins in the service tills during the verification.