The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has ironically stated that some Zimbabweans are externalizing foreign currency along with the pseudo-currency, the bond notes leading to the biting cash shortages.
#MondayBlues, painfully read a long scathing statement, where the RBZ Governor Dr John Mangudya blames some “unscrupulous business people for hoarding cash and really affecting the circulation of the currency” as the bond notes woes continue to mount.
Unscrupulous traders are hoarding the bond notes possibly because they are possessed by the demon of arbitrage with a high propensity to trade in the parallel market, said the governor.
What is weird is the fact that no one to date has been arrested for such a crime, yet the RBZ seems to know the perpetrators.
“We find it very absurd that traders operating in the reserved sectors of the economy have the tenacity to flout laws of the country instead of showing discipline of gratitude for being allowed to operate in sectors preserved for the indigenous people,” said the governor
“It is this unwarranted rent seeking behaviour which negatively affects consumers and the banking public who are forced to spend unproductive time queuing at banks for cash,” he said, adding that there was need to exorcise the “demon of market indiscipline characterised by arbitrage, externalisation and rent seeking behavior.”
So we have some business really hoarding the bond notes, as in stocking them somewhere as a form of value.
If at all, we need to be honest, most players see it as a risk to keep or being found with bond notes, as they do not reflect any monetary value outside the border, neither are they a certain form of currency, in the near future.
The RBZ should find other holistic ways to approach the cash crunch, instead of always blaming Zimbabweans of hoarding cash and sabotaging the economy.
In the first week of February, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced $15 million worth of $5 bond notes, making this a total of $88 million bond notes in circulation, over a national population of 13million Zimbabweans.
This would be mathematically converted to only $6 per individual, if everyone was keeping the notes, but maybe to look into the transacting sector, about 5 million Zimbabwean adults need the currency daily to transact, which is still less, against the supply.
Of course we have other millions in plastic money and foreign currency, but as most banks stop giving out cash back to the ecosystem, only the bond notes are being used to settle daily cash on demands, and still these are way to less than the nation really demands.
The bond notes are not any different from tokens. They are simply an authorized form to hold value for currency but this should never be misconstrued into actual value. We may all be demanding tokens to transact, due to lack of actual money but this does not at all make the tokens powerful, they are only useful.
Printing more of these “tokens” do not devalue them, because they are not currency, but is key to enable access to products and services, and this will greatly save the nation which is already losing production hours in banks.
The imagination that people are hoarding these notes is not only wrong, but too ambitious, no one with a sane mind can honestly hoard bond notes for whatever speculative reason.