OVER $40 million worth of coins are expected to be delivered in the country next week to ease the shortage of change in the country.
In an interview with NewsDay, yesterday Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said the coins would include $20 million minted coins and R25 million coins.
“The coins will be arriving the first week of December. The special coins will be at par with United States Dollars (USD) and will be in USD denomination 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents and 50 cents.
The coming of coins means the small and medium enterprises will be able to transact more than before as they will be having smaller denominations,” he said.
Mangudya said the central bank would soon launch a public awareness campaign on the new coins.
The country has an estimated 75% of its population engaged in the informal sector with most of people in trading and vending businesses. Many small products were being priced at a $1 or 5 rand due to the unavailability of coins in the economy.
Zimbabwe introduced the multi-currency system in 2009 and adopted rand, pula, USD and other currencies.
The country was coming out of a hyper-inflationary environment and decade of lost opportunities.
The adoption of the multi-currency regime did not come cheap as the country did not have coins and the economy was using notes for all its transactions. A number of commodities were priced at $1 or $1 for two to ease the problems of change.
Through the process customers lost in a big way as they were either given sweets, chocolates or other items they did not require as change. Retailers during that period made super profits as they retained most of the change.
Mangudya told NewsDay earlier this year that the move to introduce special coins was not peculiar to Zimbabwe as the country once used the currency board in 1938.
A currency board is a monetary authority which is required to maintain a fixed exchange rate with a foreign currency.
The introduction of the special coins had raised fears that government wanted to return the Zimbabwe dollar to replace the multicurrency regime.