JUST IN:  “Where’s the money?” 

Herald Reporter
Although the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) say they have issued new notes and coins in a move anticipated to ease the country’s cash challenges, A snap survey around the capital indicated that the majority of ordinary Zimbabweans waiting for the new money with baited breath were yet to access it.

However, some corporates said their withdrawals had gone through. Mobile money agents and foreign currency dealers say they have not yet received the new bond coins and notes. Some EcoCash agents operating down town were also still charging people a certain percentage ranging between 35 and 50 percent for them to cash out these old bond notes.

A survey conducted by The Herald this morning revealed that most of these dealers were still issuing old bond notes in $2 and $5 denominations to the people. These areas include along First Street, Ximex Mall, along Speke Avenue, Fourth Street and Copa Cabana bus terminuses.

Central bank governor, Dr John Mangudya said the money is part of ZWL1 billion expected to be drip-fed into the economy over the next six months.

While efforts to get a comment from the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe were futile, central bank sources said the initial injection has been made and the money was now accessible throughout the country at financial institutions. The central bank is expected to announce new withdrawal limits this week. The new notes and coins will be withdrawable from Automated Teller Machines.

However, bank managers who spoke to The Herald dismissed the assertion and said they were yet to receive any money from the Central bank.

Central bank data shows that Zimbabwe has about $19 billion in circulation, yet only 4,5 percent of this is cash. The new cash injections will bring this ratio up to around 10 percent. The lack of cash in circulation had created arbitrage opportunities, driving a parallel market for cash which was being sold at a premium for those trying to exchange their RTGS balances.