Zimbabweans sceptical of bond notes

Two in three Zimbabweans hold a negative view of bond notes, as the “surrogate” currency’s debut into the market nears.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

In a poll conducted on NewsDay’s Facebook page, most respondents had negative views about the bond notes.

The results were taken from 202 people, who participated in the poll.

About 19,8% held a positive view, mainly citing it as a way of dealing with queues and gripping cash shortages.

The remainder of the respondents were indifferent, citing government’s general lack of consultation or engagement on key policies with the public as the main reason.
Although they were indifferent, most were raising questions on why Zimbabwe should not adopt the South African rand.

About 68% of exports go to South Africa, using total exports for the first half of the year an estimated $764,99 million was exported to that country.

Exports contribute 60% to liquidity flows followed by remittances 28%, external loans 8%, and foreign direct investment 5%.

Many analysts have argued this was reason to necessitate going back to the drawing board to revisit the rand as a better option to bond notes.

Of respondents that participated in the Facebook poll, one of the sharpest critiques came from a user named Wayne, who said: “You [government] are forcing this thing on us … We are never ready for poverty”.

Statistics body, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, estimates the average Zimbabwean is living on $1 a day.

In describing bond notes, the majority of those who participated in the poll referred to the pseudo currency as “tissue paper”.

“Currency reforms are not the panacea to the plethora of economic challenges we face today as a country … So the introduction of bond notes without addressing all those underlying issues will not have the much needed economic benefits,” a Facebook user named Brian said.

Another user, Arthur, said bond notes could be an exit strategy for the government due to it being one of the many “foolish” economic reforms.

Of those who supported bond notes, many were largely for it due to its convenience.

“Let them come because we have a money crisis … We are tired of queuing for cash,” Ronald said.

The poll was also conducted on NewsDay’s Twitter account, where the majority expressed displeasure over bond notes, while seemingly acknowledging government’s failure to engage the public on economic reforms.

“What choice do we have, especially under a crushing liquidity crunch?” Ronald said.

Bond notes are expected to be released into the economy at the end of the month under the

$200 million export incentive facility guaranteed by the African Export-Import Bank.

Last week, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority board chairperson, Willia Bonyongwe said the imminent advent of the bond notes had brought some uncertainty into the economy, thereby, worsening the existing liquidity challenges “because everyone wants to keep their United States dollar cash”.

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