Informal traders reject $2 and $5 notes. A news crew spoke to some traders at fresh produce markets and cash shops specialising in groceries, most of whom were rejecting $2 and $5 bond notes. They said their suppliers were not accepting the said denominations and the smaller denominations were giving them headaches in counting.
Informal traders are rejecting $2 and $5 bond notes as well as coins, money which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said is still legal tender. Police yesterday also warned those rejecting the notes that they risk being arrested. A grocery cash shop owner along Fifth Avenue between Fife and George Silundika Street who identified herself as Emily Moyo said she personally has no problems with the denominations, but her suppliers charge her more when she pays using that amount.
Most of the suppliers say they have problems buying foreign currency on the black market using the said denominations, hence their rejection. “When I pay for something that costs $1 000, if I have small denomination bond notes I’m charged a 30 per cent premium, so it is safer not to take them at all,” she said. Mr Shalima Muzive, a banana vendor in the city, said he struggles to use the money at fresh produce markets as it was being rejected.
“The $2 bond note is the most widely circulating denomination. when I accept it, I’m stuck with it,” he said. Ms Susan Kurambwi-Chinoda who sells from City Hall taxi rank said bulk airtime traders were not accepting the notes. “I have tried many airtime bulk dealers but all day I have not been able to use this money. The next option is to just go to a supermarket and buy food or something else so that I dispose of it, but I will have lost business,” she said. In a statement, Reserve Bank Governor Dr John Mangudya said all notes issued were still legal tender.
“The bank would like to advise the public that the notes and coins issued by the bank and currently in circulation are still legal tender. For the avoidance of doubt, the notes and coins which are legal tender are bond coins, bond notes in $2 and $5, and banknotes in denominations of $2, $5, $10 and $20,” Dr Mangudya. “The bank would also like to urge members of the public who wish to exchange coins and old notes for new ones to do so through their banks which are mandated to serve their customers.”
Police have since warned people that rejecting legal tender is breaking the law. National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said a number of businesses countrywide were refusing to accept legal tender, which he described as problematic.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has noted with concern that some business people especially informal traders are refusing to accept local currency (coins, $2 and $5 notes) which is legal tender. The police will not hesitate to enforce the law on anyone found to be disregarding the country’s laws, especially during this lockdown period. “The public is again urged to report such errant people for swift action to be taken,” he said.
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Source – Bulawayo24 News
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