THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has advised that all bank notes that it has issued remain legal tender, following rejection of smaller denomination notes by some businesses.
A snap survey conducted by this paper showed that most transport operators and shops in Bulawayo are now rejecting the ZW$20 notes although they are still legal tender in the country. Responding to questions from Sunday News Business, the RBZ Governor, Dr John Mangudya, said all the bank notes remain legal tender in the country.
“While we are not privy to that predicament raised, it is important to advise that all the bank notes that we issued remain legal tender which can be deposited at banks and banks can bank the same at the RBZ under the normal banking process,” said Dr Mangudya.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Mr Denford Mutashu also called on businesses to stop inconveniencing the transacting public and accept all notes.
“We encourage business to accept all notes including the ZW$20 notes and not inconvenience the transacting public. Rejection of particular denominations is usually synonymous with high inflation as currency value erode, unfortunately it is only in our environment where economic agencies decide to reject notes. In Malawi, Zambia, South Africa and other jurisdictions, even the smallest of the denominations like coins are accepted at point of transacting,” said Mr Mutashu.
Only big supermarkets are so far accepting the currency, including Government departments. The transacting public has been left in a dilemma as they can use the notes in certain places, while in other areas the notes are flatly refused.
One customer, Mrs Sithabile Moyo said they felt cheated to be able to use the ZW$20 notes only in certain big supermarkets while the same money would be rejected when transacting elsewhere.
“When you buy in these big supermarkets you can be give ZW$20 notes as change, but when you then try to use it as transport money when going home most transport operators refuse the money. Even if you go to the market to get vegetables, they will flatly refuse the bill and one wonders why,” said Mrs Moyo.
Echoing the same sentiments as Mrs Moyo, Mr Elvis Tshuma said even some vendors were now refusing the notes from customers buying small things.
The ZW$20 note was introduced to the system in 2020 alongside the ZW$10 note and it has been in circulation since June of that year. It remained the highest note denomination in the country until RBZ introduced the ZW$50 note in July 2021. The country’s highest note denomination is the ZW$100 bill which came into circulation in April this year.
— Sunday News