RBZ backtracks on decision to phase out ZWL notes – says they remain in circulation until further notice

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By Tinei Tuhwe

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mushayavanhu has backtracked on an earlier stance to phase out ZWL notes saying they are still legal tender until further notice.

When Mushayavanhu presented the Monetary Policy Statement and introduced the new currency ZiG on April 5 he announced the old ZWL notes would be out of use by the month’s end, giving citizens 21 days to convert them to ZiG.

However, in an interview Thursday with StarFM the central bank boss said the old notes will remain in use, co-circulating with ZiG notes until an unspecified date.

“We are currently allowing them (bond notes) to co-circulate.

“And we will let the market know when the volumes of bond notes coming through have thinned out.

“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.

“We don’t want a situation where someone is sitting on bond notes and they are deep in the rural areas,” he said.

Mushayavanhu said the RBZ wants to collect as many ZWL notes before giving “a final deadline.”

The ZWL notes will operate along the ZiG, whose notes came into circulation on Tuesday, 30 April.

Coins and the ZiG10 were released first and have since been accessed by the public.