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This habit of supermarkets issuing sweets and matchboxes instead of currency coins as change give seems to be slowly creeping back to Thika Town. Majority of these outlets are now forcing their client s to 'buy' stuff that they do not want or have not budgeted for.

I say forcing one to buy them because these items are not usually gifts. One is actually forced to purchase them in the guise of getting their balance. The fact of the matter is that these traders do sell these sweets at a profit, thus robbing their clients in the pretext of scarcity of coins.

I get mad everytime I go to a supermarket and the cashier gives me some sweets as part of my change. Everytime I protest that I do not take sweets, the cashiers arrogantly respond that they do not have coins and start getting ready to serve the next customer on the queue, ignoring me with the intention of frustrating me into giving in to her fraud. The kind of gesture that indirectly tells you "Sikupi cions, Kwani utaduu?" I usually get my way when I decide to cause a scene. In fact some of these cashiers now know me and won't dare play that trick on me.

This begs for the big question:- "Why put coins in your prices if they do not have them to give change?" This is a deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain from the buyer and we should say no to such vices. By the way, what if one did not have that one shilling, would they still go ahead and sell them the item in question? or if at all one was buying an item worth sh.102, will the same seller accept sh100 and two sweets of one shilling each as payment? I hardly believe so. So, if this is the case, why do these traders expect me to understand their case without questioning it?

I believe that these traders actually take us for real jerks (and most actually are because they just take the sweets and move on). I believe that if these traders do not have enough change, the best thing is to absorb the difference themselves (because it is their failure not yours) or actually round off the prices.

Kenyans should learn to stand by their rights and demanded to have them respected at all times.

The problem with us Kenyans is that we have developed a very uncouth behaviour of letting wrongdoers go scot-free whenever they err. In this case, we tend to brush it off, "Si ni shilingi tu!" We also tend to shy away in fear that the other clients on the queue would take us for misers or brand us too poor to overlook a few shillings, yet we are the same people who go home and start searching for the same coins whenever we lack enough cash to buy a certain commodity from the kiosk next door. This "don't care" attitude only encourages these unscrupulous traders keep stealing from us with impunity.

The law requires that all monetary obligations or transactions entered into or made in Kenya be settled in Kenyan currency unless otherwise provided for by law or agreed upon between the parties. It is therefore a violation of the law to deny customers the possibility of obtaining their change in Kenyan currency or deny them the opportunity to agree to settle the transaction in any other form. In October this year, The governor of Central Bank of Kenya assured the nation that the country had adequate stocks of currency coins, thus there was no need for anyone to take unfair advantage of their clients.

It is time we started teaching these traders a lesson by coming to supermarkets with our own sweets, just in case you are demanded to add a coin. Once they refuse to take your sweet, you should create a scene in order to discourage this habit for good.

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