Thousands lose out as currency deadline passes

HARARE - Zimbabwean banks said on Monday they had met the August 21 deadline to switch over to new currency, a crucial lift for government monetary reforms that had looked likely to descend into chaos in a last minute rush by individuals and firms to deposit old cash in exchange for new money. Ba

nkers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) president Pindie Nyandoro told ZimOnline that although there had been a huge influx of people in banking halls on deadline day on Monday, banks had coped well and would not be asking the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to extend the deadline for currency conversion. The new currency measures were aimed at stamping out the bustling black-market trade, especially for foreign currency, which had seen trillions of local dollars “working overtime” in neighbouring countries. But the reforms would have crumbled had banks failed to make the changeover on time. RBZ insiders said both individuals and firms that may still be holding old cash after the change-over deadline would have to turn it into “garden manure” as said by Gono when he first announced the currency reforms. But many more individuals especially villagers from remote parts of the country, who could not travel to change their money on time, were sure to suffer huge losses as most were still stuck with old money by close of business on Monday. – ZimOnline

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