The Editor really presented an exceptional analysis and I would want to give examples of how prices have changed drastically over the past 34 years (i.e. from 1978 to 2012).
In 1978 I was 25 years old having graduated from the University of Rhodesia.
My father had a shop in Harare township (now Mbare) and kept records (books) invoices and other important documents at his home and I have carried out research on prices of goods and services since 1978.
In that year the nationalists were fighting against the Ian Smith regime. Rhodesia was also under punitive sanctions from Western countries.
Here are some of the prices in 1978:
A loaf of brown bread 17c
A loaf of white bread 19c
Bottled Coke 7c
A bun 2c
One sweet ½c
50kg mealie meal which could
be delivered by the retailer $3,40
1kg margarine 45c
500grams salt 12c
2kg white sugar 60c
A kg of meat $1
A pint of beer 23c
One egg 5c
A litre of parafin 15c
A litre of petrol 25c
500ml bottled milk 10c
A two-litre opaque beer 20c
A cob of maize 5c
A fiction novel 75c
A good second hand car
(Peugeot 504) Z$250
A brand new car (Peugeot 504) Z$1 550
Buying a beast in rural areas Z$80
Bus fare (Tafara to City Centre) 2½c
Bus Fare — Salisbury (Harare) to Umtali (Mutare) Z$1
School fees for children in high-density suburbs per term: Z$5
School fees for secondary school children in high-density suburbs per term: Z$8
Average fees for boarding schools per term Z$90
‘O’ Level Cambridge examination fees per subject: Z $6
Treatment at a local clinic: 10c
Rent for a four-roomed house in the high-density suburbs: Z$6
Lodgers normally paid $8 per room
Fares paid by an individual to watch a match at Rufaro Stadium 5c
Fares paid to watch a movie at Mai Musodzi Hall 2c for adults and 1c for children.
It is also interesting to note that by then an average domestic worker working for a European was earning about Z$45 a month. A worker who worked in a retail shop was given about Z$64 a month.
A male black teacher earned a salary of about Z$175. Surely the 1978 prices were realistic and fair.
Tapiwa Makaza, Harare.