Vice President Constantino Chiwenga yesterday appeared embarrassed to give out the local bond notes to a group of students who had recited poems praising President Emmerson Mnangagwa during the Zanu PF ‘Thank You’ rally in Zvimba.
After a number students had recited poems praising him, Mnangagwa he pulled out a handful of the hard to find, United States dollars which he handed over to Chiwenga to give to the students.
Not to be left out, party National Chairperson, Oppah Muchinguri also pulled out her own bond notes to give to Chiwenga but the powerful Vice President appeared reluctant to accept them.
After a few moments of whispering between the two, Chiwenga finally accepted the dreaded currency and could be seen shuffling them between the US dollars.
This was just minutes after Mnangagwa had warned businesses rejecting bond notes that they risk losing their operating licences.
“These pharmacies are charging in US dollars but their employees are not paid in US dollars. We sat down as Cabinet and directed the Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Obadiah Moyo, to tell them Government is not happy with what they are doing.
“The majority of you who were now selling medical provisions, asking for US dollars, it’s not proper because you go and queue at the RBZ asking for foreign currency to import these drugs.
“There is no reason why you should, therefore, ask the public to purchase these drugs in foreign currency when you yourselves get it from the Reserve Bank.
“Those of you who do not heed this caution, danger is coming, we will withdraw your licences,” said Mnangagwa fumed.
Zimbabwe is currently battling against an acute cash shortage which has resulted in the re-emergence of parallel market where both green back and bond notes are sold at a premium.
This prompted government to criminalize foreign currency dealings to try to contain the flooding of cash on the black market.