Yeah, it’s as bad as it sounds…
The past two days have been a confusing mess for any Zimbabwean, as the reintroduction of an official national currency has brought all the nightmare scenarios analysts and common folk alike had speculated. With new surprises turning up each day , the situation doesn’t seem to be getting any better either but we figured it was time we try and give you a condensed version of everything that has been implemented so far, the obvious effects these decisions will bring , and how you may be able to minimize some of the damage these drastic decisions will cause.
1. The Zim Dollar is Officially being reintroduced, and usage of US dollars alongside other foreign currencies has been banned along with it.
The most obvious and basic fact is that the official national currency has been pseudo-reintroduced, with a roadmap of formal notes apparently being stated to be introduced later in the year, but the main current effect being that RTGS currency will be the current stand-ins as Zim dollar, while the US dollar, RAND, Pula, British Pound and so on have been deemed illegal for usage in the country as shown in the official documents below. This means that you cannot transact in US dollar anywhere in the country, and to add to that the people are advised to go trade in US Dollars at the bank for Zim dollars if they wish to use them. This of course is where the major outrage among Zimbabweans begins, as whole businesses and individuals had adjusted to using the US Dollar in different ways for over ten years now, and this move destabilizes everything for countless individuals. This of course is without even beginning to consider anyone who was buying and selling USD regularly, or the “change moneys” who virtually had made an occupation out of this trade. Anyone with travel plans also may be affected especially if the money they planned to use was going to be acquired the only way most Zimbabweans acquired it now; through the streets.
2. NOSTRO FCA accounts are a whole other situation now.
Simply put, depending on the type of FCA account you have you can either still receive and withdraw your Forex from remittances but other than that, if you had foreign currency in your Nostro account you will be withdrawing it as Zim dollar. If you just felt yourself run out of breadth, you’re not alone. TechZim reports some people where able to withdraw foreign currency this morning but that is stated to end soon. As for remittances, there are two types of Nostro FCA accounts; Nostro FCA and Individual Nostro FCA. Nostro FCA accounts do not allow you to withdraw Forex while Individual Nostro FCA accounts do. What you should do is check what type of FCA account you hold and inquire with your bank if it can be converted into an Individual Nostro FCA account if that is not the case already.
3. You can still get remittances from services like Moneygram, Western Union etc.
If you received remittances through your bank and the whole Nostro situation is causing issues, the best alternative is to use remitancy services like Western union. Now checking with these services to see if operations are still normal is a must as it’s unknown just how much these shifts will affect them.
4. Forex can still be used for international transactions.
Finally if you pay for a child’s fees at an international University or buy things online, you can still use your account to pay for international transactions. This still brings the no withdrawals decision into question of course as most people who need to transact internationally or travel tend to need cash on hand when embarking on such trips. It all just adds to the fact that the government right now is living up to it’s “financial crooks” reputation as some of these Decisions seem to not be well thought out.
So Now What?
Well, as we said before we will continually update you on ongoing developments as the situation continues. Either way to say that everyone should keep whatever Forex they have at the moment to whether the current storm would be an understatement. The fact that on Monday it was deemed that Nostro accounts would not be affected yet today that promise was broken leaves this whole situation as one with no trust at its core. We can’t tell how this will play out, we can only tell you our readers to be as vigilant as possible in the current atmosphere.