During one of our #MondayBlues , we once questioned whether the Zim government was not actually behind the cash crunch so that it finds a reason to introduce the bond notes, as it failed to put in place simple measures or provisions that stimulate the use of plastic money in Zimbabwe.
The nation is currently grappling with long winding bank queues of people struggling to access their hard earned money and we only hear of threats to arrest the perpetrators who are allegedly involved in money laundering, and no name has been picked to date.
By Toneo T Rutsito
Ofcourse , later on the government then came with some reasonably good measures, which not only needs to be pronounced on paper but implemented and enforced on ground, to show commitment .
I was in the states a few months back, and I never seized to wonder why on earth we are so different from the developed nations as which technically we have equally qualified Zimbabweans , but using failed systems .
While it is a mockery to call under developed countries third world, it is an understatement to say our systems are third class, we could have landed a place in the tenth position.
I would have chronicled my day to day movement , but this series will never end so I will make it short and brief, and possibly for those in financial authority who are serious about solving our cash crisis, they may have some few points to take home.
Being so much of a Zimbabwean that I am, I was given a my Visa card under the department of State, thanks again for the amazing IVLP opportunity. The visa card was meant to take care of all my financial needs toward touring 4 USA States. The first thing that came to my mind was where was the ATM.
In My mind cash is king and cash is a necessity so my first walk out from the hotel was straight to the Bank of America, just to get some few dollars to get me going for the day or so. If I was not worried about the safety of the money , I probably would have withdrawn it all.
From the bank , as usual in any new city, I walk right round the streets surrounding my hotel, just to familiarize and have an idea of where Im at. This was a quick one around Hilton Hotel in Washington DC and I went for a quick juice across the street.
This store could be equaled to local tuck shops, there was not even space to get a proper sit in as I was saved by the balconish area and kindly she asked how would you want to pay?
Cheque , credit card or cash.
Cash of course, its just a drink! so I thought.
Still in a good mood to see more, I swayed back into the streets and flagged down a yellow cab.
“Where are you going?
“Any closest shopping mall sir” I replied
It was a quick 5 minute drive and the driver pulled over to drop me off. Right behind his seat was a unit for me swipe my credit card and of course an option to pay for tip, a crazy American culture I wont delve into now. I guess yaall know what happened !
I paid Cash! And yes I did not tip him.
Window Shopping was amazing, I took my time there. I had not an intention to buy anything on day 1, i strongly believe in watch and learn. Of course the prices were great, that part of the mall had sober prices, lets talk about the other side of town, damn! Of course just like Zimbabwe, they all accepted all sorts of cards for payments.
The only thing that I really wanted to buy was my USA line, I had to actually call folks back in Africa and not only to tell them I am I the states, but this was obviously a way to prove , im really in Washington DC , ya`all.
The SIM cards providers, or mobile networks providers have a very awkward system, I had to take time to understand how they do it. To cut the long story short I paid about $80 to get my AT n T SIM card, it came with some unlimited data and unlimited local calls which I never needed and zero international calling time so I had to go through an a painful exercise to make calls back home, which I finally did.
I Know what you all thinking right now. I got super taxed through some bank charges right!
All these transactions, I was being charged the exact amount on the price tag. there were no banking charges or “Zim Switch “ after effects , what you see is what you get . oOcourse there is one common surprise , Tax Damn the Americans love taxing and never tell you the price after tax, awkward.
So why was I not charged the exorbitant bank charges and are they stupid not to charge as well? Noo it’s a systems that was created to promote plastic money and reduce risks of cash exposures. Lets look into how this works next week.