“For local beers I take bond notes because I pay suppliers with it. However, for imported spirits, beers and whiskies my charges are strictly in rands or American dollars. In that way I can restock and it makes sense because I pay duty for imports in foreign currency as demanded by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority,” said a nightclub owner in Harare.
The country’s largest mobile money platform, Ecocash, has also created a US dollar wallet that is separated from bond note balances.
“The introduction of the EcoCash FCA wallet allows our customers and all foreign-exchange earners the convenience to ring-fence their funds in a digital FCA wallet while guaranteeing that they can transact or cash out the funds in the currency they cashed in, or transferred into the wallet,” said Econet subsidiary Cassava Smartech’s chief executive officer Eddie Chibi.
But still, government insists that there is parity between the bond note and the American dollar. As such, fuel dealers that get suppliers subsidised by the government are forced to charge in bond notes, making Zimbabwe the destination for the cheapest fuel in the region.