‘Forex ac­counts won’t be con­verted to bond notes’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Lloyd Gumbo Harare Bureau

FOR­EIGN cur­ren­cies that will be in bank ac­counts will not be con­verted to bond notes when they are fi­nally in­tro­duced, Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor Dr John Man­gudya has said.

In an interview, Dr Man­gudya said there was no need for bankers to panic as their money would re­main in the cur­ren­cies that it was be­fore in­tro­duc­tion of the bond notes.

Dr Man­gudya’s as­sur­ance comes after rev­e­la­tions that some shops were no longer ac­cept­ing plas­tic money for fear that their money would be con­verted to bond notes when they are in­tro­duced in due course.

It is un­der­stood that some shops and ser­vice providers are now tak­ing cash pay­ments only.

But Dr Man­gudya im­plored the me­dia to play their role in ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about the bond notes.

“There is no re­la­tion­ship be­tween plas­tic money and bond notes,” said Dr Man­gudya.

“The two are, in­stead, al­ter­na­tives. It is the role of the me­dia to also clar­ify that there would be no bond notes ac­counts and there would be no con­ver­sion. Any money in the ac­counts can be spent through plas­tic money.”

Zim­babwe Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce (ZNCC) chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Christo­pher Mu­gaga said there was a lot skep­ti­cism about the bond notes.

“It is for that rea­son that as ZNCC we are host­ing a break­fast meet­ing with Dr Man­gudya on Thurs­day (to­day) so that he can ex­plain the po­si­tion on bond notes,” he said.

“If you look at the bank trans­ac­tions at the mo­ment, about 4 per­cent only at any branch are de­posits, which goes to show that there is a se­ri­ous prob­lem. If peo­ple can­not de­posit, it means that even the is­sue of plas­tic money comes into ques­tion.

“Dr Man­gudya will have an op­por­tu­nity to ex­plain to peo­ple so that they un­der­stand. As we speak, peo­ple are mov­ing their cash out­side the coun­try be­cause they have not un­der­stood what the bond notes seek to achieve. He just has to be clear to busi­ness that he will not tam­per with peo­ple’s money to re­store con­fi­dence.”

Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries pres­i­dent, Mr Bu­sisa Moyo said re­fusal by re­tail­ers to ac­cept plas­tic money would im­pact neg­a­tively on their clients.

“We have not re­ally heard con­firmed re­ports on that, but what I can say is that there should be no re­stric­tions on pay­ments. If there are such re­stric­tions, they will also have a back stream im­pact on us. Our point is that we need all the pay­ment op­tions avail­able.

“To be re­stricted, will negate all the progress we have made in terms of the Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016,” said Mr Moyo.

Dr Man­gudya at the week­end said in­tro­duc­tion of bond notes early next month was still on course with mas­sive na­tional aware­ness cam­paigns ex­pected to start on Oc­to­ber 31.

He said the bank was in the process of im­port­ing more US dol­lars, but warned the peo­ple not to abuse the money. The notes, with a value of $75 mil­lion, will be in­tro­duced in $2 and $5 de­nom­i­na­tions.

See Com­ment on Page 4

Dr John Man­gudya

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