Harare Cash Crisis: Brace for More Economic Challenges, Shortages

Harare – The impending introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) will not curtail the ongoing cash crisis, a new set of prophesies and economic experts have said. 

Desperate depositors have resorted to sleeping on pavements - an episode reminiscent of 2008 - in a bid to withdraw cash as banks have drastically reduced daily payouts. 

The banking public and business remain skeptical of the alternative currency though the government has tried to spruce its image in order to be acceptable. 

“We are no longer an economy that is dependent on manufacturing exports. We are totally dependent on four commodity exports — tobacco, gold, platinum and chrome,” he said.
Depositors Wait to Withdraw Cash in Zimbabwe 

RBZ deputy governor Kuphukile Mlambo, warned that the conclusion of the tobacco season coupled with the falling of major currencies will worsen cash inflows. 

“But these minerals do not always perform well or deliver all the time. For example, the tobacco season has just ended now and between now and February we have no tobacco money. This does not really improve the situation,"he added. 


"God want you to sacrifice what you have. The situation will not improve much in the coming five months," said the founder of Glory Ministries.

His predictions are in harmony with many economic experts. 

“Remittances are also in trouble now because someone who was sending money back home to their parents, say R1 000 … the money is now coming in at say $60 … so, although the rand amount is the same, the dollar value has fallen.

“It’s the same as those in the United Kingdom where the pound has also fallen. So in view of all these dynamics, everyone should do all they can to spare cash because the money just isn’t there,” Mlambo added.

Prevailing cash shortages are a twin problem of trade deficit and cash leakages.  

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned of Harare's negative growth, estimated at 0.34 percent this year, with a further 2.5 percent predicted in 2017. 

Prophesies delivered at the onset of 2016 at Glory Ministries predicted an economic downturn, saying "citizens should engage is small businesses activities to access cash because it will be difficult to get cash."  

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