- Title: Zimbabwe introduces 'bond notes' to ease cash crunch
- Date: 28th November 2016
- Summary: HARARE, ZIMBABWE (NOVEMBER 28, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF NEWSPAPER HEADLINES ON BOND NOTES VARIOUS OF PEOPLE QUEUING AT BANK VARIOUS OF MAN COUNTING $2 BOND NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (Shona) HARARE RESIDENT, MARTIN CHAMAUYA, SAYING: "This money should be accepted by everyone because it's from the government. Whoever refuses it is clearly anti-government and should be reported to the police." CHAMAUYA HOLDING UP $2 BOND NOTE CLOSE UP OF $1 BOND COINS PEOPLE OUTSIDE BANK (SOUNDBITE) (Shona) HARARE RESIDENT, DENNIS NGWERUME, SAYING: "Any currency should be acceptable even outside our borders. Now the biggest problem is that these bond notes are not and that to me is a big problem." MAN HOLDING $2 BOND NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (Shona) HARARE RESIDENT, TENNISON TIGERE, SAYING: "So far I have transacted a few items, I have bought airtime and I just want to try to purchase something from one of the big supermarkets and see if they accept bond notes." PEOPLE QUEUING AT THE BANK
- Embargoed: 13th December 2016 09:49
- Keywords: Zimbabwe currency bond dollar
- Location: HARARE, ZIMBABWE
- Reuters ID: LVA0015ACZ0AV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Zimbabwe launched a new currency on Monday (November 28), issuing $10 million of 'bond notes' that the authorities hope will ease a severe cash crunch. But critics fear it will erase their savings less than a decade after a hyperinflationary economic meltdown.
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) first announced the plan in May to address chronic cash shortages and supplement the dwindling U.S. dollars that have been in circulation for the past seven years.
However, the announcement triggered a run on the banks as Zimbabweans tried to empty their accounts of hard currency.
The notes have also fuelled some of the largest protests in a decade against President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's leader since independence 36 years ago, and led to suggestions they could cause the 92-year-old's downfall.
"I have bought airtime and I just want to try to purchase something from one of the big supermarkets," said 36-year-old street hawker Tennison Tigere, shortly after withdrawing $50 of bond notes from a Harare bank.
The bond notes will be officially interchangeable 1:1 with the U.S. dollar, and the RBZ said on Saturday they would be deposited directly into U.S. dollar accounts, where they would be reflected as dollar balances.
The cash shortages have come against the backdrop of slowing economic growth and a devastating drought that has left millions facing hunger.
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