By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, November 02, 2016 – ANXIETY has gripped some Bulawayo residents following government’s controversial decision to introduce a legal instrument paving way for the introduction of bond notes in Zimbabwe.
President Robert Mugabe on Monday gazetted Statutory Instrument 133 of 2016, which provides a legal framework for the introduction of bond notes as acceptable legal tender in Zimbabwe.
Some residents who spoke to RadioVOP on Monday said they will no longer keep their monies in local banks for fear of a repeat of the 2008 hyper inflationary period.
Others said they will adopt a “wait and see” approach.
“This reminds us of the 2008 period where all our savings were wiped away,” said 65 year-old Sibangilizwe Tshuma.
Tshuma, who once worked as teacher for more than 30 years, lost his savings following the hyper inflationary situation which obliterated bank savings which were pegged in the now defunct local currency.
“I lost a fortune and now it is coming back again to haunt us. I will try to remove everything I have in my account than to wait for these bond notes to be introduced and start crying after my savings have been wiped away,” he said.
Another resident, Nokuthula Nxumalo feared bond notes would further impoverish them as people would start withholding their US dollars.
She said government was not sincere and should listen to people’s concerns.
“People have spoken but this government doesn’t want to listen. They want to replace our monies in banks with their bond notes. This is not fair. We experienced the same thing in 2008 when they were disbanding the Zimbabwean dollar,” she said.
Residents said it was time government listened to citizens’ concerns as people are the ones who gave the same government the mandate that they are using to govern.
The government has resisted spirited attempts by individual citizens and groups challenging the introduction of the surrogate currency during a time of economic turmoil.
The state has crushed street protests against the move and further opposed court challenges in an attempt to clear obstacles for the introduction of bond notes, due to be introduced this November, according to central bank governor John Mangudya.