At least $4 million in bond coins have been distributed in the economy, accounting for a penetration rate of 75%, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has said.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Zimbabwe unveiled bond coins in December last year to buttress the multicurrency regime through the provision of change and to necessitate correct pricing for goods and services which hitherto was constrained by the absence of an appropriate system of coins.
RBZ governor John Mangudya told Standardbusiness that the impact of the bond coins “has so far been very visibly encouraging”.
“We are quite appreciative to the businesses that have started to adjust downwards the prices of their products and services which include bread, beverages, communication charges, to mention a few,” Mangudya said.
The coins are in the denominations of 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c and 50c and are at par with the US$.
Mangudya said the introduction of the small denomination coins was to promote and enhance price competitiveness within the national economy.
“This is essential to ensure that Zimbabwean citizens obtain the real value of the significant currency in circulation, the US dollar. Without the coins, businesses were forced to round up prices, which is very detrimental to consumers and quite regressive and hurt those least able to afford because they make small cash purchases. This is not good and is very unfair to consumers. Consumers’ rights must be respected,” Mangudya said.
He said the recent introduction of 50c bond coins was the completion of the series of small denominations in line with the RBZ plans.
He encouraged stakeholders to engage the RBZ whenever they faced challenges in using the coins, adding that the bank was not aware of anybody who was refusing the coins.
“If there are any in that category then it’s very unfortunate,” he said.
Mangudya said perceptions based on wrong assumptions were not only unfortunate, but also counterproductive.
He added that the country would continue using the multiple currency system and there were no plans to phase rand coins out of the market completely.
“The country is under the multiple currency system which we all cherish as the citizens of this country. Zimbabweans are so educated to know that they use cross rates in a multiple currency system.
“Zimbabweans know that bond coins have values equivalent to US cents and that bond coins have a higher value than rand coins. In this regard, it is therefore essential that consumers should not be shortchanged by indexing rand coins to bond coins,” Mangudya said.