by Lelety Mabasa
- Zimbabwe -
It seems that the country is moving towards an economy of special cheques for each economic sector, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) launching Agro Cheques last week, which are actually bank notes especially made for the agricultural sector. The new notes come in Z$5 billion, Z$25 billion and Z$50 billion denominations.
Always faithful in shocking the world, Zimbabwe has scored yet another first, and as usual, for all the wrong reasons.
"The latest innovation seeks to bring convenience to our farmers who, starting this year's marketing season, are receiving competitive prices for their produce," said acting RBZ Governor Charity Dhliwayo last week.
The RBZ also launched a new Z$500 million bank note for the general public.
What baffled most people, however, was that bearers can use Agro Cheques to purchase goods in supermarkets, just like we do with ordinary notes.
"Either the people at the central bank are now confused or they were too embarrassed to say we are launching such high denominated notes for the public," speculates Noleen Moyo, an employee with a Zimbabwean bank. "To them, that would mean admitting failure in running the economy."