Over 200 arrested for rejecting bank notes

Source: Over 200 arrested for rejecting bank notes | The Herald

Over 200 arrested for rejecting bank notes
Asst Comm Nyathi

Crime Reporter

So far 202 people have been arrested for rejecting dollars and labelling them “bond notes”, with 51 of them already brought to court, while five have been fined between $200 and $500.

The arrests follow the launch of “Operation accept Zimbabwe currency as legal tender” by police on June 26 when mischievous and paranoid reports starting appearing on social media platforms telling people that bond notes would soon be demonetised.

Some traders, believing anything they read on social media, started rejecting some notes while others, believing the categorical assurances by both fiscal and monetary authorities that all notes were good cash, are increasing sales as stashes of notes appear out of trunks belonging to the gullible and are hurriedly spent.

In a statement yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi warned traders and businesses that they risked being arrested if they reject any legal tender.

As far back as 2008, regulations were issued under the 2004 Bank Use Promotion and Suppression of Money Laundering Act making rejection of any legal tender a criminal offence.

“Members of the public and businesses are urged to comply with the law to promote the maintenance of law and order.”

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya recently said Zimbabwe dollar notes inscribed “bond note” remained legal tender and should be accepted for all domestic transactions. This was backed up by statements from Finance and Economic Development Minister Prof Mthuli Ncube.

Legislation that reintroduced the local currency last year, explicitly states that bond notes constitute variations of the Zimbabwe dollar.

In any case, when bank notes are demonetised, there is a long period of notice while they still circulate, followed by another long period when they can still be banked if no longer circulated.

Part of the problem in Zimbabwe is that cash is hoarded, bought and sold without passing through a bank and so older notes become torn and worn. This is apparently what started the rumours.

Normally the tatty notes would have been taken out of circulation long before reaching that stage with banks routinely sending old and soiled notes to the Reserve Bank for destruction.


  • comment-avatar
    Marco Castro 2 years ago

    Forcing people to accept any currency is just the stupidest sign Government can give to people. If the money is good people will look for it, if not they will get rid of it. Any attempt to difficult that will simple worse the situation.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 2 years ago

    Zimbabwe must employ an independent person with no political allegiance to run the reserve bank. Preferably someone from another country with the job of enforcing the law without fear or favour.
    At the present time no country has faith in our lot.

  • comment-avatar
    Dr Ace Mukadota PhD 2 years ago

    Greshams Law merely happening here comrades – 400 year old law that says bad money drives out good – I will let you work out which money is good and which is bad – test for you in Economics 1 at Univ of Zw in Harare.
    If you guess correctly you could become a lecturer at any of ZW’s 14 universities