MUTARE– Mutare residents have expressed mixed views on the recently introduced bond notes amid concern that 200 000 youths have been deployed to force people to accept and adopt the surrogate currency.
Making their submissions to the parliamentary portfolio committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development Planning, Mutare residents blasted the government for conducting consultations when bond notes were already in circulation.
Former Mutare City Mayor, Brian James who was part of participants at the Mutare hearing urged government to allay fears of the bond notes being forced on the people.
“We were told that they would to be forced on us why are we being forced to get the bond notes, we have reports that over 20 000 youths have been deployed to persuade people to use the bond notes.
“We people have been held in contempt to ask our opinion on bond notes when they are already on the streets, while government made us to believe this was an incentive to exporters.
“What is the legality of the ruling from the courts that this move is OK, please explain the legality of the bond notes? My objection is that they are already on the streets and it means that someone is in contempt, no one should come and tell me the value of that bond note until it is accepted,” said James.
James said there were reports of youths deployed to force bond notes on the people, adding that government was tricking people by seeking their views when they have already issued the bond notes.
However another resident, Ishe Usavi welcomed the move to introduce bond notes as progressive, calling for prosecution of those that resist the new notes.
“We actually want the bond notes we have nothing to use, can we suffer we actually thank the government for coming up with such measures those resisting bond notes should be arrested.
“Those that do not want bond notes have an option to get the currency that they want, we even believe that there should be cash out points for different currencies,” said Usavi.
Edgar Matambo who also attended the hearing applauded the government for introducing bond notes saying externalization of cash had become a problem.
“Bond notes are very important in terms of curbing externalization of the US dollar at leas we will have something to use for our daily transactions.
“Government should look into the matter of black market dealers there should be stiff penalties for those using an exchange rate,” he said.
Parliament of Zimbabwe has been conducting public hearings on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill to gather citizen views on the bond notes.
Bond NotesBrian JamesParliament of Zimbabwe