As Zimbabwe’s cash crisis worsens, the central bank will in the next two weeks release 300 million dollars’ worth of new bond notes.
The authorities are now threatening to arrest business people who hoard bank notes for resale to desperate Zimbabweans who can’t get them out of their bank accounts.
The state-run Sunday News quoted central bank chief John Mangudya as saying these notes, like the first 200 million released in November, are backed by a loan from the African Export-Import Bank.
Cash hoarders ‘will be arrested’
Meanwhile, police and anti-corruption officials have threatened to arrest bank tellers, supermarket managers and mobile money agents for “hoarding cash”, the paper said in a separate report.
“We know that this is a syndicate and we are going to round them all up,” said Phyllis Chikundura, spokesperson for the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).
“Our auditors and police are investigating and a lot of ground has been covered. The long arm of the law will soon descend on the criminals.”
Forex available on black market
Retailers say that they have to purchase scarce foreign currency on the black market to pay suppliers outside Zimbabwe’s borders.
Many Zimbabweans fear a rerun of Zimbabwe’s last economic crisis which peaked in 2008, when “bearer cheques” lost value rapidly and hyperinflation chased goods from shop shelves.