THERE was commotion in Harare yesterday, as some retailers refused to accept the newly introduced bond notes, saying they were still to acquaint themselves with the key security features of the surrogate currency.
Source: Chaos rocks bond notes introduction – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 29, 2016
BY OBEY MANAYITI/VICTORIA MTOMBA/TATENDA CHITAGU
This comes as bankers also raised concern over the manner and timeframe in which they were told to collect the bond notes on Sunday.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) sprung a surprise on Saturday when it announced the introduction of the bond notes, which went into circulation yesterday.
At one of the shops, NewsDay witnessed security guards having a torrid time trying to restrain angry customers, who were demanding answers on why the supermarket was refusing to accept the notes, while shop attendants said they risked accepting fake notes, as they were unaware of the security features.
Their explanation did little to calm restive customers, who were then joined by vendors in blasting the hasty release of the bond notes without adequate education.
NewsDay was inundated with calls from people complaining that some retailers were refusing to accept the new notes.
Some accused the RBZ of waylaying them on the matter, as they expressed fears that they might end up receiving fake notes.
“The problem is that the RBZ didn’t give us enough time to learn the security features, as former governor, Gideon Gono did. They should have released the specimens in time,” Isaac Mudzi said.
Despite the backlash, RBZ governor, John Mangudya defended his actions.
“There was no ambush at all. That’s the normal standard process of introducing new notes. Banks were advised on Sunday,” he said.
In the informal sector, some people said they would accept the notes once the formal sector embraced them, while vendors expressed reservations.
“Although we are accepting the bond notes, it still remains to be seen if they will also be accepted where we buy. I think we needed some education focusing on the security features,” Tendai Murambwa said.
Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation director, Samuel Wadzai said they held a consultative meeting with their Harare Socio-Economic Champions, where it emerged that the informal sector had no confidence in the bond notes.
“None of the 25 who attended is ready as yet to transact in bond notes. Our membership does not have confidence in bond notes,” he said.
Some shop operators in Harare said they would accept the currency out fear of victimisation if they refused.
At some service stations, fuel attendants told NewsDay that they were accepting the bond notes,