Harare - How do you make a counterfeit bank note of a note that many Zimbabweans consider counterfeit already?
Some Zimbabweans are already printing fake bond notes even though the “real things” haven't been put into circulation yet, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has been quoted as saying.
If true, the report will do nothing to shore up confidence in the about-to-be introduced bond notes, which are supposed to be surrogates for the US dollar in the cash-strapped country. Most believe the notes will fuel hyperinflation and take Zimbabwe back to the shortage-riddled days of the pre-2008 crisis.
In quotes carried by the state-owned Chronicle newspaper on Friday, Chinamasa said: "You may not be aware of this but fake bond notes have been printed to coincide with our release in order to confuse the situation."
"You may also need to know that some people have been going to the people where we put orders for printing and threatening litigation and bad publicity."
The paper said Chinamasa would not say how the culprits managed to get hold of the design of the notes ahead of their release, expected later this month.
Central bank governor John Mangudya has been walking a delicate line as he tries to convince Zimbabweans these are nothing but an export incentive. It's understood to have been on the orders of the RBZ that a leading high street bank was forced to Thursday withdraw a revised set of terms and conditions for its customers that appeared to oblige them to accept bond notes when they withdraw their money.
But Mangudya keeps being contradicted by senior officials. Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa this week reportedly said bond notes were to be a mode of domestic transaction, adding that some payments would only be effected in bond notes.
Top Zimbabwe businessman and churchleader Shingi Munyeza tweeted: "State media states that there are fake bond notes when the public has not even seen the genuine ones. RBZ gambling with livelihoods."