AfricaTrade & Industry

Mthuli Ncube confirms rollout of higher currency denominations

By Tatenda Marwodzi

Zimbabwe will soon have $10, $20 and $50 notes injected into the economy. 

The central bank is expected to gradually introduce the higher denominations during the course of the year. 

Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube confirmed the news yesterday adding that the motive is to relieve Zimbabweans from the need to carry basket loads of currency notes .

  “We are introducing higher denominated notes going $10, $20 and $50 during the course of 2020 that is what we will be doing, introducing higher denominated notes making it easier for citizens to transact.”

According to national statistics found on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe website, a basket of goods and services rose from $100 in February 2019 to $551 dollars in December 2019, showing a 451% increase in average prices over the period.

That figure is the highest annual inflation rate for the economy in over a decade. 

Informal traders, who make up the majority of the economic sector, prefer to conduct transactions in cash over electronic channels and often prices are discounted to attract cash shoppers. 

  Additionally, a significant proportion of the population do not have bank accounts or mobile money wallets, hence the high cash transactions observed. 

Consequently consumers have to carry large amounts of cash notes to pay for goods and services as the highest denomination available in the market is a $5 note which cannot afford a loaf of bread or local bus fare for most urban centers. 

The cash injection is expected to take place in the next few months. Once imposed, consumers will no longer carry large amounts of notes for menial transactions.

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