SPECIMENS for new notes and coins to be introduced later this month will start being circulated as from tomorrow to give members of the public enough time to familiarise themselves with the money.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya last Tuesday announced that he will be issuing new $5 notes and $2 coins, to cushion citizens who are being fleeced of their hard-earned money by unscrupulous retailers who charge premiums on other forms of payment other than cash. In an interview on Friday, Dr Mangudya said the specimens will be out soon after the gazetting of the Statutory Instrument by Government which will give the green light to the introduction of the new notes and coins.
“We will start having them (specimens) on Monday,” he said.
A Statutory Instrument 231 of 2019 has since been issued by the Government paving way for the introduction of the new notes and coins. The SI details the designs of the news notes. “The design of the two dollar and five-dollar banknotes shall be as follows,
a) On the front side of both the two and the five dollar note, the dominant feature shall be the logo of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (three balancing rocks) with the visually impaired recognition feature to the left, latent image showing the denomination, optical variable ink with colour shift from gold to green, security thread with the inscriptions “RBZ” and see through of the Zimbabwe Bird looking to the left in the perfect register, as secondary features.
b) In respect of the two dollar note, on the backside there shall be an impression of the Parliament of Zimbabwe Building and the Eternal Flame.
c) In respect of the five dollar note, on the back side shall be an impression of the three giraffes and three trees.”
Dr Mangudya added the new coins and notes will address the cash problem. “As we have said many times there is shortage of cash here and people are selling cash through these agents. This is not debatable; I don’t know why people want to debate that one. What I did is needful and it is the requirement, that is the role of the Central Bank to make sure that we have assessed the amount of money in the economy and put it there,” he said.
Dr Mangudya said the introduction of the new notes and coins was a response to normalise the economy which was now being distorted even on the pricing front. Goods sold in cash are cheaper compared to those sold in plastic money, a situation that has resulted in the sprouting of cash shops in many major urban areas.
People, including pensioners, are also being forced to sleep in bank queues to access cash. Some banks in Bulawayo have gone for about three weeks without disbursing cash to clients. Dr Mangudya is also set to announce new cash withdrawal limits which are currently pegged at $300 per week for individuals.