ZIG ZAG: Central bank says new ZiG notes only available by April 30 amid banking chaos

ZIG ZAG: Central bank says new ZiG notes only available by April 30 amid banking chaos

By Business Reporter

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) issued a statement late Saturday saying the ZiG notes and coins would only start circulating in the economy at the end of April as the new currency sparked chaos in the country’s banking services.

RBZ governor John Mushayavanhu announced replacement of the Zimbabwe dollar on Friday after the battered currency had lost more than 70 precent of its value against the United States dollar.

The ZiG, short for Zimbabwe gold, will be launched on Monday and is backed by a basket of foreign currency and gold — the latest attempt to staunch a slide in the nation’s currency.

However, banking was immediately disrupted across the country as lenders rushed to convert all Zimbabwe dollar account balances to the ZiG.

In a statement late Saturday, the RBZ said; “The ZiG notes and coins are … declared to be in production and will start circulating in the economy on 30 April 2024 to allow the Reserve Bank to undertake an intensive educational and awareness campaign on the key security features of the ZiG notes and coins.

“The campaign is expected to reach out to a wide spectrum of society consistent with the Reserve Bank’s financial inclusion thrust.”

The bank added; “The Reserve Bank further advises the public that the issuance of new currency is always preceded by this important process.

“The Reserve Bank is taking all the necessary steps to ensure that the public is not prejudiced and there is value preservation and transactional convenience during this transitional period.

“The Reserve Bank calls upon the public to exercise patience while the banking sector, the business community and the rest of the economy are transitioning to the new normal.”

National payments services providers such as ZimSwitch and EcoCash were hot by the change with both indicating the services were temporarily unavailable.

However, the RBZ said progress with the transition had been “satisfactory”.

“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Reserve Bank) would like to advise that the banking sector and Payment Systems Providers (PSP) have made satisfactory progress in converting the ZW$ balances into Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG) balances since the pronouncement of the Monetary Policy measures on 5 April 2024,” reads the statement.

“The conversion process will continue for other economic sectors until Friday, 12 April 2024. Thereafter, the Reserve Bank expects that all the online payment platforms will be operating smoothly for all transactions in the economy.”