Zim bans issuance of old bearer cheques

Effective August 14, the central bank closed the issuance of old bearer cheques and said banks and related institutions should be issuing the new bearer cheques.

Major cash movers such as cotton buyers, grain buyers, wholesalers, supermarkets and other corporate must also move to the new bearer cheques when issuing cash to the public, the central bank said.

“As monetary authorities, we once again assure the public that sufficient cash in the new bearer cheques is available and that any instances of non-cooperation by players in the financial services sector through purported unavailability of new bearer cheques should be reported to the Reserve Bank for immediate redress,” the central bank said.

The announcement comes at a time when the central bank noted that major cash movers in the economy continued to inject large volumes of the old bearer cheques into circulation despite calls to use the new currency.

The majority of cash major cash movers were failing to return old notes that some are suspected to have been hoarding through the legal systems.

Observers have noted that the move was calculated to leave the large sums of the old notes in the hands of the unsuspecting public who will be left with the task of changing the money.

The central bank ordered banks to open last weekend and during the Heroes’ holiday as part of efforts to help members of the banking public return the old bearer cheques.

There was however low business recorded at most banks as people took time to rest.

Cash swap teams have been deployed in various areas for the convenience of members of the public to speed up the cash conv- ersion.

Tomorrow, the old bearer cheques will cease to be accepted as legal tender, the RBZ has advised. ‘ New Ziana.

August 2006
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