How bond notes remind me of street scams

Plot Mhako grew up on the mean streets of Glen-Norah and Glen-View and is familiar with a street scam or two. He makes a compelling analysis of bond notes – Zimbabwe’s surrogate currency.

Source: How bond notes remind me of street scams – ilizwi263

Plot Mhako grew up on the mean streets of Glen-Norah and Glen-View and is familiar with a street scam or two. He makes a compelling analysis of bond notes – Zimbabwe’s surrogate currency.

Mangudya 2008 time traveler

RBZ Governor Dr Mangudya

This is my ghetto mind trying to understand what happened over the subject of bond notes and United States dollars.

There was a time when a group of con artists would roam the streets of Harare with a set of tricks to hoodwink you into believing you had picked up money or had the potential to make quick money in a matter of minutes but, in reality, they would strip you of every penny you had. They used many methods, all of them well thought and at most very convincing.

The scams

The most notorious one was “Chadonha” (You dropped something). What would happen is someone would drop a khaki envelop and another one picks it up right in front of you. They would tell you that this must be money and since you also saw the act you must accompany them to a secluded place to count and share the spoils but they would request you to put whatever money you had in another khaki envelop “for safe keeping” and to avoid mixing the two. After counting you would get your ‘swapped’ envelop and the one with the money they picked up and part ways. Only after you open both that’s when you realise you had lost all the money to a con artist.

Kubasa (The Job). I was once a nearly victim of this one. You meet a neatly dressed guy on the streets and they tell you that they are looking for some contract workers to do a quick job. The job can be packing clothes to anything else that sounds believable. The money offered and the pitch are often too compelling to let go. Then they take you to the job place. There they tell you all employees keep away their money for security reasons. They give you a brown envelop and you are told to wait for your work suit and the next thing you realise you have been robbed.

Are we victims of a Reserve Bank scam?


Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe: financial sector watchdog, or scam?

While the above can be circumstantially different to the bond notes, they share a lot in common on technique and rationale.
The notes were introduced primarily as an “export incentive” and also to ease the way of doing business. This was against sound economic advice. We were told the bond notes were  the same value as the United States dollar. The money would be put together in our Foreign Currency Accounts (FCAs) but still maintain same value. Both the USD and the bond notes vanished but the numbers in our bank accounts remained. Now, two years later, we are told that the rate is no longer the same and the two can’t mix anymore. I am tempted to believe that the street con artists finally got jobs at the grain silo-shaped building on Samora Machel Avenue


  • comment-avatar

    Street scam- 9 billion inside ZW banks and everyone thinks they are USD !!

    In fact they are now bond notes or ZW’s newest currency – how is that for a street heist comrades ? – good luck with the mabondi that some call zollars or Zimbollars

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 4 years ago

    From the very beginning, many of us expressed without doubt what would happen.  Admittedly, I thought it would happen sooner.  Whatever currency a nation uses, it must be exchangeable with the currencies of international trading partners.  Obviously, the Zim bond currency was never intended to be accepted outside Zim, nor exchangeable for any international currency.  It was an insane, sophomoric idea to introduce such a plan.  The government shysters could just have easily introduced rocks as currency.  It was a plan that sounded as though it was dreamed up by neighborhood 8 year olds who had yet to understand that currency had to have value, and would be backed by the worth and legitimacy of the issuing nation.  But, Zim lost it’s legacy legitimacy and integrity long ago by the greedy rule of a governing mafia whose only intent was it’s own personal power and wealth. 

    Zim will completely collapse unless sanity, competence, and rule-of-law are soon returned to the government.  This requires a depolitization of the policia, military, judiciary, press, and instigate free, fair, letigimate elections.  Unfortunately, ZANU-PF has no intention of allowing that, and even if the ruling party that brought the current calamity were to change and want to bring sanity back to their rule, they have no idea what “good governance” even looks like.

    Yes, the bond currency was either a scam, or conjured up by an idiot.  Take your choice… remembering that the lesser of two evils is still evil.