CHOPPIES Zimbabwe director Siqokoqela Mphoko says businesses and ordinary Zimbabweans should embrace the proposed bond notes and rally behind the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya in stabilising the financial services sector.
The central bank has indicated the notes – set for circulation in October and backed by a $200 million bond loan from Afrexim Bank – would be indexed at par with the US$ value to improve liquidity and buttress the multiple-currency system.
As Zimbabwe grapples with a biting cash crisis which has seen banks reducing daily withdrawal limits, some to $50, leaving scores of depositors stranded, the proposal has sparked widespread debate.
Introducing bond notes, to Mphoko, is a progressive stance and a long overdue necessity.
“Bond notes are a necessity in this country and I personally welcome the move.
‘‘Zimbabwe is using a multi-denominated currency system but what’s happening of late is that everybody has shifted to using the US$ only.
“This has attracted a lot of externalisation of money by foreigners and businesses who take the hard currency out,” said Mphoko. “I’m happy that the bond notes would run alongside the US$ backed by the $200 million loan. ‘‘Mangudya is a very seasoned person; he would not print more than that amount.
‘‘He knows what he’s doing and Zimbabweans should support him.” Mphoko dismissed fears that adoption of bond notes would be an inconvenience to business saying the move was actually healthy in controlling abuse in the handling of cash.
“The coming in of bond notes means that business would continue banking their money in US$ terms and if they want to import or procure something outside the country they’ll have to apply to the central bank stating their need and be given the required cash.
‘‘This is a normal procedure in other countries,” he said. “It’s up to us now as Zimbabweans to have faith in bond notes. ‘‘This system will curb externalisation. People have been coming here to externalise funds and that’s why we’ve $15 billion that can’t be accounted for.”
Mphoko said there was no way the RBZ would gamble with the economy given that it has successfully rolled our bond coins, which have been embraced by all and are positively impacting on the economy.
“The government has proved it with bond coins so we’ve to trust them. ‘‘Moreover, bond notes would assist in improving liquidity and recapitalisation of companies. ‘‘People will have more buying power and small businesses stand to benefit as well. ‘‘The accompanying five percent incentives is also a plus,” he said.