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ZiG coins, notes out today

In a welcome development, the new Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) banknotes and coins will go into circulation today, bringing relief to the transacting public, with confidence in the gold-backed money growing across all economic sectors.

Informal traders, commuters and other interest groups had been anxiously awaiting an alternative to the electronic payment methods which, apart from hard currency cash transactions, had been solely in use since the launch of ZiG on April 5.

Major companies in the manufacturing, retail, wholesale and aviation industries have been accepting electronic ZiG payments ahead of today’s roll out of the physical currency.

Banks yesterday took delivery of notes and coins purchased from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for commencement of withdrawals by depositors today.

The central bank has since set weekly cash withdrawal limits at ZiG3 000 for individuals and ZiG30 000 for corporates to manage the initial roll-out.

In an update yesterday, RBZ Governor Dr John Mushayavanhu said authorities had finalised the distribution systems by the end of the business.

“We will be seeing the new notes and coins effective this Tuesday (today). All the modalities have been completed and come tomorrow morning (today), Zimbabweans can begin to use the currency depending on the logistics of each bank.

“There is that need for Zimbabweans to use ZiG. I implore the nation to focus on a currency preservation system to facilitate ease and convenience to Zimbabwe. It is all about confidence and as the central bank, we are guaranteeing confidence in the economy,” said Dr Mushayavanhu.

Also Read: Mahommed Mussa among others rejecting ZiG transactions

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) president Mr Denford Mutashu said: “We are ready for the introduction of ZiG coins and ZiG notes.

“We are quite optimistic because the market has been eagerly awaiting the coins to help address the issue of change shortage.

“Consumers and the general public are tired of receiving coupons and candy instead of their change.”

Mr Mutashu urged retailers to strictly adhere to the official exchange rate, saying: “We have extensively engaged with our membership, both formal and informal.

“It is important to note the wide acceptance and use of ZiG electronic money. We do not expect any deviation from the formal exchange rate, particularly within the formal sector.”

The Greater Harare Association of Commuter Operators (GHACO) chairman Mr Ngoni Katsvairo said the ZiG currency comes as a relief for transport operators.

“We have been facing serious challenges in terms of providing change to passengers and I believe it’s a relief to all transport operators.”

However, Mr Katsvairo appealed to the Government to make sure fuel was sold in ZiG notes and coins.

“We hope that fuel stations will accept ZiG payments. Challenges may arise if fuel stations reject ZiG notes.

“During the initial days of its introduction, entire trips could be paid for exclusively in ZiG, so we should have designated fuel stations that will supply fuel in ZiG notes.”

Economist, Mr Persistence Gwanyanya, who is also a member of the RBZ Monetary Policy Committee, recently hailed the new currency, saying it had brought renewed hope on the country’s currency situation and the economy at large.

“It presents a future and a renewed hope on our currency, our stability situation and our economy at large. The issue of currency stability has grown to become a thorn in the flesh, but I think we are in the process of resolving it permanently.

“We have decided to link the currency to special minerals so as to manage currency stability through a structured currency called ZiG.

“We have also seen the improvement, interventions on the market for foreign currency with the abandonment of the foreign currency auction system and the adoption of a more transparent and more effective system where the central bank will continue to support, but will give the market greater leeway to be interacting,” he said.

Last week, Air Zimbabwe joined another local airline fastjet which was already accepting ZiG, boosting public confidence in the new currency introduced on April 5.

“We are pleased to advise that Air Zimbabwe accepts ZiG payments for ticket purchases through our sales offices.

“This move reflects our commitment to adapt to the evolving financial landscape and offer our stakeholders convenient payment options.

“As we integrate Zimbabwe Gold currency into our payment systems, we are finalising the process for its acceptance on our online payment platform,” said Air Zimbabwe in a statement.

The national airline said it understood the importance of providing seamless and secure online transactions, and had been working diligently to ensure that the option of online payment was available to its valued customers.

“Air Zimbabwe remains dedicated to providing excellent service to our passengers while embracing innovative solutions that benefit both our customers and the economy.

“We appreciate the continued support of our stakeholders as we navigate these changes together,” said Air Zimbabwe.

The new currency is backed by a combination of gold, precious minerals and foreign currency reserves.

Notably, all ZiG banknotes and coins are produced locally.

The ZiG notes and coins will be drip-fed into the market in denominations ranging from ZiG1 to ZiG200.

The new currency replaced the Zimbabwe dollar, which was rapidly depreciating against major currencies since the beginning of the year.

RBZ has in its reserves, US$100 million in foreign currency and 2,5 tonnes of gold valued at US$185 million. Herald

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