Zimbabwe's New Currency Faces Shortages and Limited Circulation

Zimbabwe's new currency, the ZiG, faces distribution challenges and public mistrust, highlighting the country's ongoing currency crisis and the difficulties in stabilizing its monetary system.

Olalekan Adigun
New Update
Zimbabwe's New Currency Faces Shortages and Limited Circulation

Zimbabwe's New Currency Faces Shortages and Limited Circulation

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has failed to deliver enough of the new currency banknotes and coins to banks, leading to the public's inability to access funds and limited circulation of the new currency. The ZiG was introduced electronically in early April 2024 to replace the Zimbabwe dollar, which had been battered by depreciation and rejection by the people. However, the new currency is facing similar issues of mistrust, with some government departments refusing to accept it.

Long queues formed outside banks and ATMs as people tried to access the worlds newest currency latest attempt resolve, which was introduced on Tuesday as a gold-backed replacement for the Zimdollar. The central bank set a daily withdrawal limit of ZiG 3,000 to contain the money supply, with a total of ZiG 80 million currently on the market. Several banks were unable to satisfy the demand for the new currency, with only coins and ZIG10 notes being issued.

Businesses are being ordered to only use the ZiG, but the government itself is allowing some businesses to refuse it in favor of US dollars, which remains the most trusted currency for ordinary Zimbabweans. The government has taken a hard-line approach, arresting black market currency dealers and freezing the bank accounts of businesses accused of rejecting the new currency attempt resolve money. Despite the government's efforts to promote the ZiG as a matter of national identity and dignity, many Zimbabweans remain skeptical after two decades of currency turmoil.

Why this matters: Zimbabwe's currency crisis highlights the challenges faced by countries attempting to stabilize their monetary systems. The success or failure of the ZiG could have significant implications for Zimbabwe's economy and the well-being of its citizens.

Farmers and traders at Mbare Market in Harare expressed anxiety over the delayed availability of the ZiG notes coins onto market. Zimbabweans who failed to access the ZiG from ATMs expressed concerns over the new currency, highlighting trust issues over its value. The Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president Lawrence Nyazema cautioned against panic and urged the public to use the existing currency until the new ZiG is fully available. "The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been directed to ensure effective communication and financial inclusion for the new ZiG currency, as well as to ensure that the growth in reserve money is fully covered by reserves," stated RBZ governor John Mushayavanhu.

Key Takeaways

  • Zimbabwe's new currency, the ZiG, faces issues with limited supply and public mistrust.
  • Long queues at banks as people struggle to access the new ZiG currency.
  • Government orders businesses to use ZiG, but allows some to refuse it for US dollars.
  • Farmers and traders express anxiety over delayed availability of ZiG notes and coins.
  • RBZ governor promises effective communication and financial inclusion for the new ZiG.