Zimbabwe’s bond notes ‘being traded outside borders’ – report

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Zimbabweans compare the new note with the US dollar note following the introduction of new notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in Harare, Monday, Nov, 28, 2016. The Southern African nation has rolled out a new currency for the first time since 2009 in hopes of easing biting shortages of the US dollar. Banks across the country started issuing the new currency called bond notes, Monday. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Zimbabweans compare the new note with the US dollar note following the introduction of new notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in Harare, Monday, Nov, 28, 2016. The Southern African nation has rolled out a new currency for the first time since 2009 in hopes of easing biting shortages of the US dollar. Banks across the country started issuing the new currency called bond notes, Monday. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
Zimbabweans compare the new note with the US dollar note following the introduction of new notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in Harare, Monday, Nov, 28, 2016. The Southern African nation has rolled out a new currency for the first time since 2009 in hopes of easing biting shortages of the US dollar. Banks across the country started issuing the new currency called bond notes, Monday. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwe’s bond notes are reportedly being smuggled out of the country by unscrupulous currency dealers just over the border and traded on the black market, a report says.

The dealers are exchanging them for foreign currency especially to travellers coming into Zimbabwe, local media, The Sunday News reports.

Bond notes were introduced in the country last year and were meant to plug leakages of foreign currency as they can only be used as legal tender in the Southern African country.

Some of the money changers interviewed at Ramokgwebana Border Post in Botswana said business was brisk because people know that Zimbabwe was “facing money challenges” and would rather cross into the country after securing the bond notes.

“They will rather change their money here and that is why we try by all means to get the bond notes to conduct business. Shop owners and other people are now coming with the notes and we give them pulas. In addition we are also making sure our people in Zimbabwe keep on supplying the notes so that we are in business,” said a money changer who declined to be named, the report said.

The central bank said then that the advantage of putting the bond notes into circulation rather than “real” foreign currency was that the notes had no value outside Zimbabwe and therefore would not be smuggled out.

But this latest report would suggest the plan is starting to fail – though it’s important to bear in mind that the authorities are looking for scapegoats for Zimbabwe’s ongoing cash crisis. News24 reports.

RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya called on Zimbabweans who love their country to report such cases.

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