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Gone to the dogs

Sinqobile Tessa
A boy wearing a two bond mask (source – Hopewell Chin’ono Tweet)

Almost everyone in Zimbabwe, including myself, is selling something to make extra cash as ends literally refuse to meet.

Besides the farming business, I also sell airtime and I must say, though little I have been enjoying the profits.

However, the survival of the business is now uncertain as I have not been able to re-stock. This is because this week the airtime ‘middlemen’ decided they no longer accept bond notes.

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Most airtime vendors buy airtime from middlemen as there isn’t much hassle compared to buying from the mobile cellular companies.

It thus came as a surprise when these middlemen rejected bond notes which have long been in circulation and actually look like other notes, the difference being that the latter are written Zimbabwe dollar instead of bond notes.

The bond notes are highly circulating, as the Zimbabwe dollar notes, which these people now want, are hard to come by – especially the recently introduced ZWL$10 and ZWL$20 notes.

So thousands of airtime vendors have been left holding bond notes which they cannot use to re-stock and sadly nothing can be done as no amount of noise from the government can make these airtime middlemen change their minds despite having no solid reasons for their actions.

This attitude towards the local currency in the informal sector is actually a true reflection of the entire business market as most businesses now prefer to transact in foreign currency. In other words, our economy has informally dollarized as most prices are now either quoted in the American dollar or South African rand; the bond or Zim dollar is useless they say.

In other news, on Saturday many people were left shocked when the Health Minister, Obadiah Moyo’s aides were seen walking out of court carrying a box containing ZWL$50, 000 in cash.

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This was after the Minister, who is implicated in what is now called the Covidgate scandal, was granted ZWL$50, 000 bails in his second court appearance and was willing to pay it in cash as if to spite the masses.

He was, however, advised that he could still pay with plastic money hence he was able to keep hold of his precious cash.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son Collins and a close family friend are at the center of this US$60 million COVID -19 supplies scandal which now implicates the Health Minister and top officials from the national drug store.

What dropped jaws further is the fact that Minister unashamedly brought so much cash to court when it is actually a nightmare for ordinary people to withdraw a mere ZWL$100 from the bank.

Shame on the Minister for this clear sign of deep-rooted corruption, selfishness, and hoarding of the much need cash.

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