Published On: Tue, Nov 29th, 2016

Major Zimbabwe supermarkets reject bond notes money

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Major  Zimbabwe supermarkets rejected the newly-introduced bond notes in early trade today, agencies have reported.

At the moment big supermarkets in Harare – including Pick n Pay and OK Zimbabwe – are not openly willing to accept the bond notes that come in $2 and $5 bills.

“We are waiting for specimens and samples from the Reserve Bank. Maybe we will start accepting the bond notes in the afternoon when we receive the samples,” a manager at an OK Zimbabwe supermarket in Harare told shoppers intending to buy goods using the bond notes.

At Pick n Pay and TM Supermarkets branches in central Harare, the bond notes were also not being accepted. A supervisor told reporters that the shop was “yet to get approval to accept the bond notes”.

Buyers in  Pick n Pay supermarkets were using bank cards to purchase goods and commodities, while some were using US dollars in cash and local bond coins that have been in circulation since the beginning of last year.
On the streets of Harare, airtime vendors were accepting the bond notes and one trader said he had now received about $4 from airtime credit sales. Economists said it was still too early to give an assessment on the acceptance and ease of transacting using the bond notes.

Economist John Robertson said it would take some time “to get a clearer picture”.

Some people who withdrew cash at banks in Harare and Gweru early today told Zim News reporters that they were given bond notes.

Zimbabwe is battling a cash crunch that has seen foreign currency dry up, and the central bank says it has introduced about $10m in the local bond notes to easy the crises.

Skeptics have warned that the new currency will trigger inflation, shortages and externalisation of US dollars.