THE bond note circus keeps rolling on and Zimbabweans are none the wiser on what is going on, only leading to anxiety and ultimately rejection of the currency.
Source: Uncertainty over bond notes only making things worse – NewsDay Zimbabwe Nov 27, 2016
Comment: NewsDay Editor
Firstly, President Robert Mugabe gazetted amendments to the Reserve Bank Act, but now after the realisation that this move was patently unconstitutional, the government has belatedly decided to go the parliamentary route.
This week, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that they were suspending some parliamentary processes to fast-track the amendments.
A schedule has also been released on the public meetings to be held before the bond notes legislation goes to Parliament and is finalised.
To all this, there is a backdrop of media reports that the bond notes would be introduced this week, which ends today, while Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor, John Mangudya said they will be out by November 30.
This means one of two things: Either the bond notes are not coming out before the end of this month or the parliamentary process is just a smokescreen. Either way, this will not help the new currency get approval from an already sceptical and highly untrusting public.
If Mangudya were to go ahead with his plan to introduce bond notes by the end of this month, this will mean the public would be barely acquiesced with the currency’s security features, a sure recipe for disaster.
In the meantime, there have been a number of court challenges to the bond notes, which betray a lack of planning from the authorities, as, if they had planned and thought the process through, they would have eliminated the possibility of these mounting lawsuits.
In hindsight, Mangudya should have only announced bond notes when he was sure what form they would take and how to counter any possible lawsuits and legal hurdles.
He might not have anticipated such a response, but the continued delay and uncertainty in introducing them is only making things worse.
Even for the ordinary person, who may genuinely believe that bond notes are a panacea to the cash shortages or externalisation of money, the delay in introducing them is only heightening anxiety.
Sceptics among us then speculate that the government is not pulling in the same direction regarding the surrogate currency, as there can be no logical explanation for this confusing state of affairs.
Government ministers have also been inconsistent in telling the nation how the currency will be used and this has further added to the disquiet.
If the bond notes are not ready or the legal framework is still questionable, then Mangudya should stop announcing dates of when the currency would be introduced, as setting dates only puts pressure on banks, as more people rush to withdraw their money before the notes are introduced.
The government has a duty to rid the country of this uncertainty and anxiety, as this will only increase mistrust and rejection of the bond notes.