Demand for bond notes hits sky high

HARARE - In an unexpected development, Zimbabweans are stampeding to their banks in large numbers to withdraw the newly-introduced bond notes.

For the third day running yesterday, stressed banks battled to cope with the long queues that snaked inside and around their premises, as depositors continue to rush to withdraw the new currency which was introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Monday.

A Daily News crew which took a walk around the Harare central business district witnessed throngs of customers struggling to access their money from both automated teller machines (ATMs) and inside banking halls, with the “improved availability of cash” in the system seemingly failing to stem the unusually high demand for money.

Many ATMs in the CBD were by early afternoon pasted with notices saying “out of cash”, raising temperatures in some areas as agitated depositors accused bank officials of not planning their operations well.

Long queues and chaos were also said to be the order of the day in Bulawayo and Mutare.

With the central bank announcing earlier this week that it had put a daily bond notes withdrawal cap of 50 units and 150 a week, many banks in the capital had run out of money by mid-day yesterday.

This was also despite the fact that most commercial banks continued to dispense to their customers the usual American dollar withdrawal limit of up to $60 a day, in addition to the allowed daily cap of $50 in bond notes.

Some of the depositors that the Daily News spoke to said they had started queuing for their money outside banks as early as 4am, with many more joining them from about 6:30am onwards.

An elderly woman who was in a queue said while she was happy that she was now able to access some of her money, authorities needed to inject more bond notes into the system to ameliorate the scramble for cash. Another senior citizen, Tinos Huruva, 67, said it was really difficult for people like him to stand in queues for hours.

The RBZ has released an initial $10 million worth of bond notes in small denominations of $2 and $5, more cash is to be gradually availed in the coming weeks and months.

On Wednesday, Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, Charity Jinya, said that the surrogate currency had been very well received.

“All banks have witnessed an encouraging uptake of bond notes since their introduction . . .,” she said.

“Banks have reiterated that they are committed to fully complying with all regulatory requirements and will continue to work closely with the central bank in providing solutions towards the ease-of-doing-business,” the MBCA Bank boss said.

Although authorities have introduced measures to migrate people to a cashless society, which includes increasing points of sale and lowering bank charges on all electronic transactions, some businesses and shops like fuel retailers have been reluctant to switch to plastic money, partly due to the extra cost involved.

This is premised on claims that merchants pay for card readers as well as commission to banks on every transaction made, with the charges involved depending on the card issuer and the trader’s credit rating and annual sales.

Comments (12)

It is an obvious thing. Zimbabweans are desperate for any form of currency that would allow them transact. Zimbabweans are hard working people who do not want to waste their time at bank ques. Zimbabweans are not much concerned about politics , they only need food, love, protection and support from government. But accepting bond notes does not imply that Zimbabwe has scored high economically. Industries must be resuscitated, empower women and the youths with income generating projects, let there be meaningful activity in the farms, let there be no corruption in all government departments and parastatals. Let no Zimbabweans abduct, beat or torture each other because we are one blood. One love Zimbos. We will be on our feet soon

DZIMBABWE - 1 December 2016

It is because we have no choice, nothing more.

XG - 1 December 2016

It's expected that demand will be high because people are keeping their US dollars with them. No one is prepared to us their hard currency for Now!

Prof Dziwa - 1 December 2016

It's expected that demand will be high because people are keeping their US dollars with them. No one is prepared to usE their hard currency for Now!

Prof Dziwa - 1 December 2016

hehehe....this only for will see black market coming up. What's the exchange rate zviya?

gandanga - 1 December 2016

The only solution is for us to start our industry smoking

dankay - 1 December 2016

Or is it for our industry to start producing smoke, then we will know foreign currency is coming in. Period.

dankay - 1 December 2016

Of course, the demand is so that people can buy the US dollar on the black market and stash it in safe deposit boxes or at home. I now have a small tidy some stored.

Mbongeni Sakhe - 1 December 2016

The time value of money concept dictates that, a dollar today has more value than a dollar tomorrow. The rush for bonds notes should be understood in this scenario.What are people doing with the bonds notes ? OK, Pick & Pay are recording brisk business and stocks levels dimishing quick.Will the suppliers be able to refill the shelves, I wonder.Soon shortages will surface, rationing be introduced.The bond will find its true value kkkkk.Prices will go up, the same old story hyperinflation

Einstein Economic - 1 December 2016

"bad money drives out good money" Meanning of course the new Zim notes will the ones used in the economy. The US$ will be put in the mattress. So the velocity of the bad money goes crazy. RBZ will say this is huge demand for Zim notes and will run out the printing press.

Johnno - 2 December 2016

For Charity Jinya of Bankers Association of Zimbabwe to say that the bond notes were well received by is being untruthful and mischievious.Its not a secret that more than 90 percent of the population were against the surrogate currency yet Charity choses to be economic with the truth in order to please a certain clique of thieves who occupy high offices in the government.Thats the reason why our country has come to this sorry state.It is because of people like Charity who find comfort vomiting lies that are very detrimental to the well being of the ordinary man.There is nothing like "well received" on bond notes Charity,they were forced down our throats and what choice do we have?Come on be bold and say the truth and the truth shall set you free.What good does it do to you,to make a small group of thieves and murderes happy at the expense of the whole country?

Janana wa Bikaz - 2 December 2016

Yes Charity, it looks like an old fashioned run on the bank. Get your money out, whilst you can. Swap it for something, anything.

Max - 2 December 2016

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