FINANCE Deputy Minister David Mnangagwa has told the public to report businesses rejecting $50 bond notes to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) which will conduct further investigations.
This comes after local businesses started rejecting the ‘Mbuya Nehanda note’ which is now worth less than US$0.10 on the official and black market exchange rate platforms.
Some vendors who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com recently said it was no longer possible to store large wads of the notes and hence were rejecting them.
During Wednesday’s Question and Answer session which was only attended by Zanu PF MPs after the ban of the opposition MPs by Speaker of Parliament Jacob Mudenda for six sittings, Lilian Zemura asked, “We have a lot of banknotes in the form of the $50 bond notes which suddenly we were told were no longer in use.
“Is there a way of announcing and making people aware in advance? Some of the people run small markets that they find it difficult to accept these notes?”
Mnangagwa responded: “The people who reject our local currency, as Honourable members, let us make those reports to the Financial Intelligence Unit.
“If you are not aware of them, come to the Finance ministry because we want to know who is not accepting the local currency so that we may investigate.”
The Treasury deputy said Zimbabwe will continue using the multi-currency regime and no one should reject local currency, warning that the move was against the law.
He added that the recent introduction of the Zimbabwe Investment Gold, a gold-backed digital currency would help Zimbabweans manage financial transactions soon once modalities on its use in the banks were finalised.
Due to the continuous devaluation of the ZWL, citizens no longer wanted to use local currency.
Rushinga MP Tendai Nyabani however queried how the newly introduced ZIG would be used in rural areas where people have never heard of it or know what it is or how it works.
“Many people, especially in rural areas, cannot afford to purchase ZIG. Most of them only have local currency and are in the rural areas. What are they going to do? ZIG can only be afforded by people with a lot of money, what is going to happen to people who are rejecting the local currency?” Nyabani said.
“The people in rural areas, I can say, I am here in Harare and I have never accessed gold coins in the banks, but those who wanted it have accessed it.
“These measures that we put in place are meant for some people who may want to transact in huge local currency and are not sure of the value or the consistency of the use of that money, which is why they were given that as an option.
“So, the ZIG is an alternative, instead of taking your gold to your house, you will now keep it in the bank and you access it through your phone and your card. That is where we want to get to use the gold that we mine in this country,” explained Mnangagwa.
He added that as the country increases its gold reserves, the ZIG will also be increased.
“Once the banks work on the platforms, US dollar codes will be accessible even in the rural areas. They will be able to go and get the cards from their banks. We will be working in collaboration with the Reserve Bank, Government and Commercial banks,” said the Finance deputy.
He explained further: “The local currency that is being rejected can actually be used to purchase the ZIG which is valued at gold stored at the RBZ.
“We thought our plans with regards to our currency as a country, everything is in place. We have considered all the reports that are coming from all the stakeholders. The money will still be in use and people must not panic.”
One ZIG is valued at $0,06c. New Zimbabwe