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Zimbabwe Runs Out of New Currency in First Week

HIGH public demand for bond notes has resulted in most banks using up their stock of the surrogate currency which was introduced earlier this week.

This was revealed by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo during a cash crisis and bond notes public meeting held in Bulawayo on Friday.

“The banks have run out of bonds notes in their vaults. We will be having a meeting with the banks and see how we can address the situation,” said Mlambo.

“We do not have too much bonds in circulation because we want the notes to be a viable facility for the public.”

Mlambo said release of the notes was demand-driven, insisting the central bank would not impose them on banks which do not want them.

The RBZ launched the notes on Monday with the goal of easing chronic cash shortages and supplement the dwindling U.S. dollars in circulation.

Although the central bank hopes the bond notes will ease shortages of cash, bank queues lengthened during the week as workers and government employees sought to withdraw monthly salaries.

Mlambo said the country need to improve its export performance to address the cash shortages.

“We are not producing anything in the country. If you see a country surviving on beer manufacturing and airtime selling companies only this is a sign of a sick economy.

“It seems people are spending too much on beer drinking and phoning.”

He also conceded that the central bank could not act on public concerns about bank charges.

“When we adopted the multi foreign currency system, we lost our independent monetary policy.

“We no longer have the power to stop banks from doing unethical things. All is now dependent on the morality of banks.”

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