FAKE BOND NOTES WARN­ING Fi­nance Min­is­ter says coun­ter­feit gangs al­ready print­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Bianca Mlilo

UN­SCRUPU­LOUS char­ac­ters have started print­ing fake bond notes which they plan to re­lease when the real bond notes are in­jected into the econ­omy, a Cab­i­net Min­is­ter said yes­ter­day.

The new notes are ex­pected to be in cir­cu­la­tion in a few weeks’ time with the Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe (RBZ) rolling out mas­sive aware­ness cam­paigns ahead of their us­age.

Ad­dress­ing leg­is­la­tors at the 2017 pre-bud­get sem­i­nar in Bu­l­awayo, the Min­is­ter of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Pa­trick Chi­na­masa, said the on-go­ing na­tion­wide pub­lic aware­ness cam­paigns were meant to em­power the trans­act­ing pub­lic and warn them against con­men.

“You may not be aware of this but fake bond notes have been printed to co­in­cide with our re­lease in or­der to con­fuse the sit­u­a­tion,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa.

“You may also need to know that some peo­ple have been go­ing to the peo­ple where we put or­ders for print­ing and threat­en­ing lit­i­ga­tion and bad pub­lic­ity.

“Be­cause we’ve rep­u­ta­tional is­sues, ev­ery threat is con­sid­ered valid, which is why we’re no longer giv­ing a run­ning com­men­tary on what we’re do­ing.”

The min­is­ter would not elab­o­rate on who the cul­prits are and how they ac­cessed key fea­tures of the pro­posed notes be­fore their re­lease.

The ini­tial dead­line for the re­lease of bond notes was end of Oc­to­ber. How­ever, the RBZ with­held their in­jec­tion in or­der to ex­tend cam­paigns and ed­u­cate the pub­lic on the de­nom­i­na­tions and op­er­a­tions of the bond notes.

The new notes will come in de­nom­i­na­tions of $2 and $5 with an ini­tial tranche of $75 mil­lion worth of notes set to be in cir­cu­la­tion by end of next month.

When the cen­tral bank is sat­is­fied with the level of con­ver­sancy the pub­lic has with bond notes, they will be in­tro­duced.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said in view of these con­sid­er­a­tions, the Gov­ern­ment was vig­i­lant and tak­ing pre­cau­tions in im­ple­ment­ing steps to re­vi­talise the econ­omy so as to avert dis­rup­tions.

He said Re­serve Bank Gov­er­nor Dr John Man­gudya would be avail­able to­mor­row to an­swer de­tailed ques­tions that leg­is­la­tors and other stake­hold­ers would have on bond notes.

The RBZ in May an­nounced plans to in­tro­duce bond notes as a pro­duc­tion per­for­mance re­lated ex­port in­cen­tive or bonus scheme to be awarded to ex­porters of goods and ser­vices.

Un­der this scheme the cen­tral bank would pay up to five per­cent in­cen­tive or bonus in bond notes to ex­porters.

The mea­sure is also meant to but­tress the use of the mul­ti­ple cur­rency sys­tem and help ease liq­uid­ity chal­lenges.

Backed by a $200 mil­lion loan fa­cil­ity from Afrex­im­bank, the bond notes will be equiv­a­lent to the US dol­lar in terms of value and should be ac­cepted as le­gal ten­der.

The Gov­ern­ment has al­ready pro­mul­gated Statu­tory In­stru­ment 133 of 2016, which has since been gazetted, as a le­gal back­ing to the use of the new notes. — @ Bian­caMlilo.

Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa

Per­fect Dondo

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