Retail outlets from Harare and various urban settlements across the country have been rejecting ZW$2 bank notes under unclear circumstances, leaving hard-pressed consumers in a quandary, Zwnews reports.
The situation in the capital Harare replicated other urban areas which include Kadoma, Kwekwe, Chegutu, Gweru and Bulawayo with most citizens expressing disappointment this week on the shocking and illegitimate decision by the shops to reject the notes in all monetary transactions.
Rimas Chiwetu, a resident from Rugare surbub told this publication that the actions of the retailers who reject the arguably weak local ‘bond notes’, particularly the ZW$2 denominations had left most residents who were holding on to the literary impotent local currency counting losses.
“This is absurd!” Chiwetu told a Zwnews crew in an interview yesterday.
“I have actually failed to acquire foodstuffs for my family because most shops are just telling us that they no longer accept two-dollar-notes as if they’re not legal tender in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Another Harare resident, Baron Magini, also echoed the same sentiments, saying there was need for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to engage the police and make a crackdown on retailers who shun the ZW$2 bank notes.
“It is common knowledge that the current lockdown has been negatively affecting the financial situation of the general citizenry but what is being done by these errant shops is tantamount to economic injustice. At one outlet, I was actually told that the ‘2 Bond’ is only accepted at established shops such as OK and TM Pick n Pay. When I tried to enquire on reasons for this, all I could get were unsatisfactory responses. I must say this is a call to action for the (RBZ) Governor (John Mangudya). He must act now- even if that means roping in the police to make sure such rogue elements are jailed,” said Magini who was apparently dejected.
The central bank recently introduced new denominations of ZW$10 and ZW$20 notes but the significance of the monetary reforms have been eclipsed by the continued slump of the local currency against the United States dollar on both the interbank and parallel market exchange rates.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) has urged the transacting citizenry to report to the police, all retailers who are shunning ZW$2 bank notes.
“Yes, we’ve been receiving reports about certain shops rejecting some notes but I believe that the RBZ made it clear that all denominations, including the $2 notes are legal tender in the country,” CCZ Executive Director Rosemary Siyachitema told Zwnews in an interview Friday morning.
“Our advice to consumers is that they report all criminal elements rejecting these bank notes to the police. It is a legal offence for the retailers in question to reject the bank notes as they are legal tender,” she said.