Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor John Mangudya said Zimbabwe has a single currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, and there is no currency called RGTS or Nostro.
Responding to Alpha Media Holdings chairman Trevor Ncube on the platform In Conversation with Trevor, Mangudya said the Zimbabwe dollar was the country’s sole currency.
Ncube had asked the central bank chief to shed light on the identity of the local currency since traders use various terms such as EcoCash, Nostro, Swipe, RTGS and bond, among others. In response, Mangudya said:
Our local currency is called the Zimbabwe dollar. I always meet people who say RTGS, bond note, the local currency in Zimbabwe is called the Zimbabwe dollar
… The confusion comes from the fact that in 2019 when we separated the local currency from the foreign currency, and we had a Statutory Instrument 33 of 2019, we referred to the local currency as the RTGS, and subsequently changed to the local currency called the Zimbabwe dollar.
So there is Nostro, and such because people are perhaps too educated they use all kinds of acronyms.
Asked by Ncube if he was not worried about presiding over an economy where so many acronyms are used, Mangudya said:
It does not worry me, because there is diversity in Zimbabwe.
As long as we speak the same language, I know when they are referring to the RTGS, they are talking about the Zimbabwe dollar.
Maybe from this conversation, we need to change the narrative.
The narrative of our local currency is called the Zimbabwe dollar, and the foreign currency that we are using here, we normally use the US dollar, rand or British pounds, but predominantly in the market there is the US dollar, that is what is being used.
The other currencies can be accepted. There is nothing called Nostro.
Nostro, these are accounts for banks in foreign banks, these are foreign currency accounts.
So, in the foreign currency accounts, we have got foreign currency in those accounts, but we do not have Nostro.
So, people confuse again the term Nostro.
Nostro means our account with you in a foreign bank.
The opposite of Nostro is Vostro, which means their account in our box.
So, the term Nostro, what they are referring to because you still remember we had a virtual US dollar and money that was physical money in the Nostro accounts.
I empathise with the people of Zimbabwe, I empathise with them.
I know what they are referring to.
It does not bother me because I know exactly what they are saying, but for purposes of this conversation, it is local currency, foreign currency accounts and foreign currency.