Dirty Zim dollars to be replaced
Harare - Zimbabwe's banks are ready to issue out new US dollar bills to replace old, dirty and defaced notes if the public and corporates deposit the money, the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has said.
No payment will be demanded in exchange for the new notes, Zimbabwe's Herald Online reported on Wednesday.
BAZ president John Mushayavanhu said this would make it easier for banks to facilitate repatriation of old notes to the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States and receive new bills.
"Old notes continue to be in circulation because people are not banking money so that the old notes can be repatriated and new notes are brought into circulation."
Mushayavanhu said people could simply walk into any bank and exchange their old bills.
This follows an outcry that some shops, commuter omnibus crews and cellphone recharge card vendors were refusing to accept old and torn notes largely in US$1, US$2 and US$5 denominations.
Most of these notes are badly soiled, defaced, disintegrated, "worn and torn" because they change hands frequently.
Zimbabwe has over US$2.5bn in circulation and most of the money is not finding its way to the banks as the majority of Zimbabweans have lost confidence in the banking sector.
Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe administrator John Mutukani said most businesses were operating on cash basis.
Banks, however, have justified the high bank charges arguing that as financial institutions, they have lots of overheads to cover.