Small-scale retailers have started rejecting coins, $2 and $5 bond notes, demanding, instead, to be paid in foreign currency.
Shops in downtown Harare are refusing to accept the $2 and $5 notes, with the inscription bond note on the top right corner on the pretext that the same are being rejected where they buy foreign currency to import goods.
Farmers at Mbare Musika are also reportedly rejecting the notes and coins saying they had failed to buy even food items to eat using the $2 and $5 bond notes.
In Matabeleland Provinces, Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Teams have noted a similar trend.
A Habakkuk Trust Community Advocacy Action Team convener Shakespeare Ndlovu claimed that not only are shops refusing to accept payment in the local currency, but some are overpricing goods to dissuade members of the public from paying in local currency. Said Ndlovu:
In Matobo ward 11, shop owners are demanding forex for essential goods like mealie meal, sugar. In some parts of Nkayi District, it has been reported that shop owners are refusing $2 and $5 bond denominations alleging that they have since expired.
In the meantime, community members in Matobo ward 19 have lamented the unprofessional conduct displayed by shop owners as they are reportedly charging exorbitant prices to deter consumers from paying in local currency. Some products cost almost twice as much in local currency in order to force people to use the rand.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has introduced, with effect from today, a dual pricing system, which will see retail shops pegging their prices in both the local currency and US dollar at the prevailing market rate.