ESAP brings uniform mania


During the school days it was the most detested thing. Today, with clothing almost unaffordable even on credit, everyone is rushing for uniforms. They now seem to be the in-thing as any walk around the First Street Mall or Lobengula Street Mall will indicate.

For the employers it may be a blessing in disguise as this is free advertising. But for most employees it is not a question of choice. They simply can no longer afford to buy new clothing.

Shirts are now selling for up to $200, which is more than two weeks’ pay for those who make the shirts. Shoes average $100, a weeks’ pay for those who make them. Suits, including women’s, now range from $700 to $1 300, almost three months’ pay for an average worker in the clothing industry.

Uniforms on the other hand are selling quite cheaply. The biggest attraction though is that the employer buys them in bulk and sells them cheaply to his workers who pay on credit with the money being deducted from salaries before it quickly disappears.

The only problem, however, seems to be that because the uniforms are cheap some employees are buying them for relatives including those in the rural areas as Sunday or special occasion wear. They do not mean any harm since all they are interested in is a saving and the recipients are eternally grateful.

The availability of these uniforms could, however, lead to a major problem because of the current hardships as these uniforms can easily be abused if they fall into the wrong hands. Can you imagine someone obtaining a building society or bank uniform? How much easier would it be to hold up that bank? This also applies to any establishment, hence there are already restrictions on the use of uniforms like those of the security services.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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