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Zim central bank chief unveils new local money

The notes start circulating at the end of next month and will be in denominations of $2 and $5.

FILE: Zimbabwean dollars. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe's central bank Chief John Mangudya says bond notes will be introduced next month and there will be $75 million worth of them in circulation by the end of the year.

The bank chief was unveiling his plans for the new local money, which many Zimbabweans think will return the country to the dark days of hyperinflation.

The notes, to start circulating at the end of next month, will initially be in denominations of 2 and 5 dollars.

Central bank chief John Mangudya has tried to reassure Zimbabweans, who remember all too well the misery created by hyper-inflation in 2007-2008.

In a monetary policy statement issued today, he says his bank won't print money over a $200 million limit, in line with a $200 million loan that is said to back these notes, and give them their value.

Commentators are already saying that these bond notes are coming into circulation at just the right time for President Robert Mugabe's government since it is increasingly short of cash.

The cabinet this week overruled the finance minister's plans to scrap bonuses and to cut wages, raising the prospect that civil servants could receive their bonuses in bond notes.