Pride Mahlangu, Business Reporter
EXCITED depositors yesterday flocked to their banking halls in Bulawayo to withdraw new notes and coins following the cash injection on Monday into the formal system by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).
Long queues were seen at most banks and building societies in the Central Business District as depositors sought to get cash, which had become a rare commodity in the past few months.
This news crew visited several banks that include Standard Chartered, CABS, ZB Bank, EcoBank and CBZ where banks were disbursing the new $2 and $5 notes and $2 bond coins.
“The money arrived at our branch here yesterday at 8PM,” said a banking official on condition of anonymity.
Some banks were issuing out only $2 coins while others issued both notes and coins. Others like CBZ Fife Street facilitated that customers access the cash through the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Most banks had their withdrawal limit at ZWL$100 per day while some were said to be giving up to $300 as per weekly limit.
Depositors who spoke to the news crew expressed excitement over the availability of cash at banks. They commended the Central Bank for injecting more cash in the formal system saying parallel market cash dealers had made life hard for them.
“I am happy to get cash from my bank but the problem is that the denominations are small. Goods are expensive and this means I have to carry a lot of cash,” said a ZB depositor.
The depositors said they hoped the banks will be consistent in availing cash to end the selling of cash by dealers.
Some depositors however complained that the use of coins attracts punitive premiums at some retail shops that prefer notes.
The depositors also suggested that RBZ prints higher denominations of $10 and $15 for transactional convenience.
RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya has said that the Central Bank will continue to drip-feed the market with notes and coins until the state of equilibrium is reached. The RBZ intends to increase the amount of cash in circulation to about 10 percent of total money supply, which translates to roughly $1,9 billion. Dr Mangudya said the process of injecting additional cash went smoothly on the first day and the RBZ will continue to top up banks with cash to meet demand.
He said the RBZ was determined to stop cheating by banks through strict monitoring of compliance with bank use and promotion regulations. — @pridesinstinctz.