Some Zimbabweans welcome bond notes introduction

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Zim money crises: Some see light  at the end of bond tunnel

Lovemore Lubinda

Some businesses, consumers and retailers in the country have welcomed the soon to introduced bond notes into the economy by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) as one of the immediate measures to avert the current cash crisis.

Speaking during a stakeholders meeting organised by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) in Harare last week some participants expressed their support of the introduction of bond notes by the RBZ.

This come after the central bank has been under pressure trying to explain its move, while citizens were up in arms accusing the monetary authorities of plotting to introduce the local currency through the back door.

Consumer Council of Zimbabwe boss Rosemary Siyachitema said her organisation is in full support of the central bank’s initiative. She said as consumers, the concerns were that there were a lot of negative media reports against bond notes, but, after clarification from the RBZ, consumers are now better informed.

“We urge the central bank to continue with awareness campaigns so that all the misconceptions are cleared. Otherwise we are in full support of the initiative,” she said.

At the same conference which was also addressed by the RBZ governor John Mangudya, who urged Zimbabweans to embrace the notes, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries also expressed its support of the move by the central bank to introduce bond notes.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, (CZR) President, Denford Mutashu told Zim News in an interview recently, that the introduction of bond notes is a noble move as a measure to promote liquidity into the economy. He said the introduction is one of the instant interventions that could be put in place in the face of cash shortages, and should be adopted by all the players in the economy while long term solutions are being worked out.

“We need to embrace local solutions to local challenges. While there might be bad apples in the sector, who might try to resist the move, as an association we will come up with a code of ethics to guide adherence to the measures,” he said.

Mutashu said the other measure put in place by RBZ that is directly linked to the operations of the retail sector is the promotion of electronic payment systems in all transactions. As stated in the central bank’s statement; “The Reserve Bank has noted with concern that some wholesalers and retailers are operating without POS machines.”

The CZR boss said the grouping is fully behind the move and urged its members abide by the measures “In the case of saboteurs we will work with relevant authorities so that they are brought to book, because some of these actions to enforce compliance are beyond our control,” he added.

The bond notes to be introduced early next month are being backed by the US$200 million facility from Afreximbank will be released in smaller denominations, says RBZ. This will work as the extension of the current family of bond coins and as a discount to trade related paper for the purpose of liquidity for business operations.

Zimbabweans across the country have been unease with the introduction of bond notes into the economy as they fear the move could be a ploy by the authorities to bring back the much hated local currency. Such fears were being propped up by the memories of the Zimdollar era, which caused suffering as incomes were eroded by the runaway inflation which characterised the market then.