WHILE it is an open secret that football betting has become a source of income for a number of unemployed people in Zimbabwe, some energy sapping developments emerged during the course of the week.
We reveal that two of AfricaBet outlets at Nkulumane Complex and the one at 6th Avenue/ Lobengula Street; have turned their backs on the masses as they now demand United States dollars for bet placement while rejecting the use of EcoCash and bond notes.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, employees at the two betting centres told B-Metro that they were acting on command from their seniors and had no choice but to comply.
“We only followed instructions, the decision came from upper management therefore we did as we were told,” said one employee at AfricaBet centre situated at Nkulumane Complex.
Another AfricaBet employee who is stationed at the organisation’s premises situated at Entumbane Complex said:
“Our rentals have since gone up after the economic melt-down, so we had no choice but to increase the amount for betting.”
However, AfricaBet general manager Eva Sande professed ignorance on the development, saying she was in the dark about what was happening.
‘‘I was not aware that some of our outlets in Bulawayo are refusing bond notes and EcoCash,’’ said Sande.
Her personal assistant who was only identified as Tarisai had initially asked this reporter to send questions in writing.
A snap survey by this publication revealed that a number of AfricaBet outlets in the Central Business District (CBD) were deserted because many members of the public did not have access to the US dollar.
Foreign currency dealers, better known as osiphatheleni, were prowling around Africa bet changing bond note into US$ at a rate of three bond notes to US$1.
Some punters kept on complaining saying that the outlets which allowed the use of bond notes were forcing them to pay double the amount which they paid before.
“These people are taking advantage of us; we are supposed to pay two bond per bet instead of one bond. The money may seem little but it is too much for unemployed people like me,” said Brian Chiweshe, one of the customers.
A seemingly dejected Mandla Sibanda said: “It is disappointing for them to tell us we must use the US dollar, how do they expect us to use the US dollar, where will we get it?”