RBZ Governor Reverses Decision on Bond Notes Phase-Out

May 3, 2024
Bond notes | Report Focus News
Bond notes

On Thursday, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mushayavanhu reversed course on the phasing out of bond notes, asserting their continued legal tender status until further notice. During the launch of the new currency, Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), on 5 April 2024, Mushayavanhu had announced the imminent phase-out of “bond notes” by month-end, allotting citizens 21 days to convert them to ZiG.

However, in an interview with StarFM, Mushayavanhu clarified that bond notes would persist in circulation alongside ZiG notes indefinitely. He stated, “We are currently allowing them (‘bond’) to co-circulate… We will then advise a date to say, ‘After such and such a date, we will no longer be accepting bond notes.’ But for now, let them come through.”

The RBZ aims to accumulate as many ZWL notes as possible before establishing “a final deadline,” Mushayavanhu added.

While ZWL$100 bond notes will coexist with ZiG, whose notes entered circulation on 30 April, the coin and ZiG10 releases have yet to fully address the change shortage.

Criticism has mounted against authorities for hastily implementing policies without thorough consideration. Traders began rejecting ‘bond’ after Mushayavanhu’s initial announcement of their phased withdrawal, causing consumer challenges in transactions below US$1 and obtaining change.

Furthermore, despite the RBZ’s announcement of a new currency, the delayed availability of coins and notes prolonged citizens’ wait for tangible currency for nearly a month.