The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe says it does not want to see US$100 notes on the market because they make it easier to externalise scarce foreign currency.
RBZ deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo told the Sunday Mail today that banks were not importing any $100 or $50 notes.
Those on the market were brought in by individuals.
Mlambo had been asked about US$100 notes being exchanged for $110 bond notes to which he responded: “Yes, yes; even more. And that is why we have told banks, we are encouraging them not to bring US$100 notes. The thing with those denominations is that they are easy to externalise.
“You know if we only had US$10 notes, it’s very difficult to externalise because if it is US$10 000 in US$10 notes, how do you carry it? It’s huge, but if it is US$100 notes, it’s very small and you put it in your pocket.”
Asked: “So, it was a directive to banks by the RBZ?”
He responded: “No, no, it’s not a directive. We can’t force them but we encourage them. We don’t want to see them actually and we have discussed with the banks and they also agreed.
“So no one is importing the US$100 note; if you see it, it’s maybe because someone went to the United States of America and came carrying them. But banks are not importing US$100, even US$50 notes.”
Zimbabwe introduced bond notes in November last year to ease the cash shortage in the country but there was strong resistance because of fears that they would be trashed like the Zimbabwe dollar in 2007-2008, but it seems they have stood their ground so far.