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Planned Introduction of Bond Notes Causes Tension in Zimbabwe

Harare residents have expressed mixed feelings over the announcement by Reserve bank of Zimbabwe governor, John Mangudya, that the country will soon introduce bond notes to ease cash shortages in Zimbabwe.

In a street survey, one of the residents Stanely Mukunguna, said it is clear that the government is introducing the bond notes as it has failed to revive the economy under the current multiple currency system.

He said this is the latest version of the Zimbabwe dollar, which was abandoned when the country formed a unity government in 2009.

“The introduction of the bond notes shows that government has failed and they want to bring the Zim (Zimbabwe) dollar through a back door. The question is how they even arrived at this rate to the US dollar. Government is supposed to surrender because they have failed. We are back to the 2008 era we could not achieve anything. Only Zanu PF big wigs will benefit because they will be the only ones who will be able to change the bond notes to US dollar.”

Another resident, Keresenzia Ndlovu, who is a vendor in the streets of Harare, said it is likely that they will have difficulties in importing goods for resale in Zimbabwe since the notes won’t be usable in other nations.

Ndlovu noted that some people will now start hording the American dollar, a situation that is set to lead to serious shortages of the U.S currency.

“Bond notes is not money because if I want to do my business outside like in Musina or Mozambique, I cannot use it. It is better that government introduces a Zimbabwe currency and not bond notes.”

Suspended Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, agreed, noting that the introduction of the bond notes will not solve the economic fundamentals that have gone wrong.

“When the bond coins came along we welcomed them as a short-term relief for a fundamental problem. We thought as we were dealing with the bond coins we would fix economic and political fundamentals that have brought us to where we are. Now we are realising we have not fixed the problems hence we have to continue with more cover up. Let us fix our country and everything else will follow.”

But Tawana Mugwira welcomed the central bank’s move. “We are happy with the government for coming to the aid of the people. This is a proper policy. When bond coins were introduced there were some resistance but now it is the currency of choice and now the government has introduced bond notes. The Americans have been tampering with our economy and withdrawing their US dollar. Now we have found a home-made solution that will see us through.”

His views were echoed by Andrew Tsiga who claimed that Americans were causing artificial shortages of their currency in order to effect regime change in Zimbabwe.

“Given the current circumstances in which there is no cash any intervention that may fuel the current liquidity will make sense. We would not want an economy where there is no money. We do not care whatever it is as long as it can buy.”

The Reserve Bank introduced bond coins in more than a year ago. At first people resisted them but with time and shortages of U-S dollar coins, most Zimbabweans are now using the coins.