Informal Traders ‘Demonetise’ Z$5.00 Notes

Some informal traders such as tuckshops, vendors and other similar businesses are no longer accepting ZWL$5.00 notes.

A survey conducted by ZIMPRICECHECK.COM at Harare’s Mbare Musika on Tuesday revealed that the notes have effectively been demonetised by the traders.

Only the major formal retailers such as OK Supermarkets, Colcom and Farmer’s shops were still accepting the notes.

While it is not clear why informal traders have “demonetised” the ZWL$5.00 notes, the recent spike in black market rates could have made their use inconvenient as one would need about 20 notes to buy US$1.00. ZIMPRICECHECK.COM hypothesises:

We are just speculating at this point. The truth is that most vendors use the money to buy foreign currency once they are done selling their wares.

Money changers are refusing these notes so the vendors cannot dispose of them. To prevent further loses they simply refuse to take them. That’s like the kiss of death.

If sellers won’t take them the public won’t take them either and just like that the note is demonetised.

So why are money changers refusing the note? Well, it could be because with rates having risen again and prices with them, small notes just become a burden.

They are harder to count and transact with leading to errors and time wasted counting and double-counting.

They are also bulky making you a police target as they are harder to hide. So as with coins they just refuse to take them and just like that it’s over for them.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has been slow to act as far as introducing higher denominations is concerned and this has made transacting in cash a cumbersome exercise as one would need to carry around “bricks’.

Early this year, RBZ Monetary Policy Committee member, Eddie Cross, said that $50, $100 and $200 banknotes will be introduced this year to complement the $2, $5, $10 and $20 notes already in circulation.


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