Zimbabweans have the right to fear the government mention of a new Bond Note to become legal tender after the fiasco of the Bearer Bonds. The last time Zimbabwe had it’s own currency US$1 was equal to Z$12 Trillion. That’s right US$1=Z$12,000,000,000,000. And then all that money just vanished from the bank accounts of millions of Zimbabweans. The informal sector has survived for the last few years on the US Dollar, the South African Rand, the Botswana Pula and other currencies. While the system could not be maintained forever, the very idea of bringing back a currency onto a system where there is no control on the fiscal discipline of the government has created problems of its own.
Before the currency is even enacted, there are pending law suits, demonstrations and fear that the government will forcibly require people to give up their forex in exchange for these new notes. The fear is well founded as the government is currently cash strapped and has recently created a list of banned products for import. This list includes essentials as they are not manufactured in Zimbabwe.
The economic and political situation is not stable enough to absorb this change in fiscal policy. The government needs to heed the dire warning of economists and Zimbabweans from around the world that this time, the gamble is with stakes too high to lose.