HARARE – The Commuter Omnibus Operators Association has encouraged its members to accept new Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) issued bond coins as a mode of payment by commuters.
This comes as many kombi drivers were reportedly refusing to accept the recently issued coins as a form of payment.
Cosmas Mbonjani, the Chairman of Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) said his organisation supported the use of the special coins.
“There is no reason why our members should not accept the coins because we had a meeting with the RBZ boss who assured us that it was genuine money and that we should accept them,” said Mbonjani.
He, however, said the challenge was that some of the service providers like service stations were not accepting the coins.
He said his organisation had 400 members who had registered their vehicles and was made to understand that a majority of their members accepted the coins.
RBZ unveiled a new set of bonded coins worth $10 million, which started circulating on December 18.
The special coins in denominations of 1c, 5c, 10c and 20c are part of a five-year $50 million bond that government has secured to give them value. Mangudya said the introduction of the bond coins on the local market was part of efforts to ease the shortage of change, but allayed fears that they were clandestinely bringing back the Zimbabwe dollar. “The economics of the bond coins is that they are being introduced to buttress the multiple currency system through the provision of change especially for the US dollar notes which have a smallest denomination in circulation in Zimbabwe of $1,” he said.
Mangudya added that the RBZ was, therefore, addressing the divisibility and store of value qualities of money through the initiative, which has already received significant support from the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe, business organisations and financial institutions.
“The bond coins will be at par with the US cents, that is trading one for one with US cents,” he said.
He also stated that the new bond coins’ circulation will be limited to Zimbabwe.
The country ditched its local currency in favour of foreign currencies in 2009 after hyper-inflation reached 500 billion percent.
Zimbabwe mainly uses the United States dollar and South African rand for transactions but businesses usually round-off prices and give consumers vouchers or sweets as change because the country lacks coins.
The 50c bond coin will be introduced in March next year.
Mangudya ruled out the return of the local currency saying that it would be “careless” and economic “suicide” as there were inadequate reserves to anchor it and that the country had foreign currency reserves that could only last up to three months.Dailynews