By Kenneth Matimaire
Mutare, November 28, 2016 – IT was business as usual in the eastern border city as formal and informal businesses traded their goods and services using bond notes – Zimbabwe’s surrogate currency introduced on Monday.
There were fears that local businesses, mostly those plying their trade in the informal sector were going to reject the new currency.
The bond notes, which are now legal tender, came at the backdrop of widespread demonstrations, major public outcry and several legal bids against their introduction.
However, it was business as usual as supermarkets, commuter omnibuses, airtime vendors and indigenous merchandisers at Chidzere Bar and Sakubva Flea Market accepted bond notes.
Brian Hamadziripi, who trades in second hand shoes at Sakubva Flea Market, said business was booming as many people flocked in to purchase various wares.
Hamadziripi said there was no reason for them to reject bond notes considering that business was low during the past several months.
“There was a high turnout today (Monday) of people who were coming to buy clothes, shoes and many other things here. We were not selecting money, we accepted customers with bond notes nekuti ndozviripo,” he said.
He however, said that their current headache was how they were going to import their wares.
“We buy all of our stuff here from Mozambique, so that’s where our challenge is because the bond notes only work in Zimbabwe,” Hamadziripi added.
Others traders who purchase their goods locally were fascinated to get a look at the crispy notes.
Susan Nyamayaro – an airtime vendor said she had no problems with using bond notes as she purchase her recharge cards locally.
“Bond notes do not affect the way I work because I buy my recharge cards locally, so my line of work is not affected. Actually I have served several clients who bought airtime using bind notes.
“It would have been a challenge if I was involved in any informal job that involves acquiring goods from outside the country,” said Nyamayaro.
Derek Munyoro – a depositor at a local bank said he withdrew bond notes and did not face any challenges to purchase his goods in supermarkets.
“I am one of the many people who received bonds notes from the bank. I was fascinated and wanted to get a glimpse of the new currency. Yes I was a bit skeptical but I bought my groceries, paid my DSTV, and electricity without any hustles,” he said.
However, Radio VOP gathered that the introduction has done very little to reduce bank queues that have now become a common site outside banking halls.
Also most foreign currency changers in Mutare warned that it is just a matter of time before they start cross rating bond notes against the already American dollar.