No doubt, Zimbabwe’s panicking cash crisis is still far from getting over! All the Harare-Bank queues, warnings against various foreign traders, bags of bond coins appearing here and there underpin the fact well enough.
The frustrated Zimbabwe queues are waiting in rows for several days to access their salaries. Still now, at times the bank clients are not allowed to take out more than $60 at a time. The president Robert Mugabe and his cash-strapped government introduced a new type of currency which won’t be valid outside the country and that is nothing but the bond note.
Well, there are now so much of bond notes available all-throughout the Zimbabwe that if we calculate then it would be almost $ 120m.
But, if you just can’t avoid traveling there now due to any business prospect, the demand of your job or anything else then you ought to know some basics to survive over there.
Can a payment for any hotel be made from a foreign bank card?
Well, most probably ‘NO’! Although you can grab a lucrative Travelodge offer and save on your hotel bookings but the discounted amount can’t be paid with a non-Zimbabwean VISA card. It’s because such cards haven’t worked in most of the places for quite some time. Instead, you must book your accommodation before you leave.
Should I carry cash?
Yes. But, you have to show the proof of how much you are bringing while your entry to Zimbabwe. Also, you can’t take more than $ 1000 out of the country when you leave.
What about road-blocks and toll gates?
You have to pay through cash in the toll gates and roadblocks. But, if you have a Zimbabwe bank account then you can just swipe off your card and it’ll be done!
But, you have to join the queue for a ‘non-swipe’ booth if you don’t have such an account. And, if you are in a Sedan then you have to pay $ 2 per tollgate.
When it comes to the roadblock and if you want to pay with your Zimbabwean bank card then the police will direct you to the police stations which are usually some distance away.
Bond notes are well-accepted in the roadblocks if it’s a kind of consolation that you are giving away.
How to withdraw the money if I transfer it to a Zimbabwean relative’s account before the trip?
It will be definitely something very difficult. It’s because most of the ATMs in Zimbabwe’s town centers are totally empty nowadays. So, for that, you have to spend several of your precious hours in the bank-queues. And, if you are lucky enough then you might get $ 100 per withdrawal but then it would be $ 70 in bond notes and $ 30 in terms of bond coins.
So what do the Zimbabwean authorities saying nowadays?
They are clearly saying that there’s nothing to worry. The RBZ chief John Mangudya said in the state-owned Sunday Mail that there’s ‘no need to panic’.
But, it seems like Zimbabwean people are not believing him at all as you can see the words like ‘hogwash’ in the comment section under that piece of news if you read it.
Further Mangudya says ‘ A “bumper harvest” and the better prices of minerals will certainly improve the horrible situation of the cash’.
But, Mostly that won’t take place before the Easter break. So, better to be prepared!