DIANNA GAMES: Bond notes cannot paper over Harare’s liquidity crisis
Zimbabweans are sceptical, fearing they will again be left with worthless paper in place of real money, writes Dianna Games
Resistance to Zimbabwe’s new "currency" has not disappeared nearly two months after bond notes were introduced amid widespread protests by citizens who feared the notes were a step back into the past. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is feeding the quasi-currency into the system in tranches. In the first phase, the equivalent of just under $80m is being circulated. But a lack of trust persists. After all, the exercise is being presided over by the same government that took the country to 80-billion percent inflation less than a decade ago. The new notes resemble the much-despised Zimbabwe dollars, last used in 2009 when the multicurrency system was introduced. The US dollar was just one of nine currencies designated as legal tender, but its popularity for trade and commerce rose from 49% in 2009 to 95% in 2016. The rand’s use has declined despite the fact that more than 40% of Zimbabwe’s exports are to SA and 60% of its imports come from here. Zimbabwe’s high import bill, lack of foreig...