Of Coffee With Funny Money

If you were having coffee with me, I would happy you came to visit. We would sit in the winter sun that feels like it’s on power-saving mode and have a cup of coffee, while I tell you what has been happening in the Reserve Bank Of this Teapot-shaped Kingdom Of Funny Money.

Reserve Bank Of Funny Money

You remember last week, I shared with you how I was dreading going the shops because I just knew that the price tags of would be going crazy… With effect from Tuesday, the 23rd of June, a new Reuters Based Forex Auction would now be used to determine the official exchange rate and not the one where the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe would have it fixed at 1:25.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe -

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that in the first of the Tuesday weekly forex auctions which had a bid spread of $25,4 and $100, a bid average of 57.358 was set as the official forex rate, now we  await the next Tuesday to see how the market will react, but in the meantime:

Price of bread

Bread, which went up a fortnight ago has gone up again. And using the new rate bread costs about somewhere at about USD$1.50

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that the price of coffee would give one a caffeine shock.

Coffee Price

The price of fuel went up by 150% in part due to the new forex auction but also the mandatory blending of petrol with 20% ethanol which contributes 76% of the petrol price. The strange part is that adding ethanol to the petrol is supposed to reduce the cost of petrol but the practise is actually making the fuel more expensive and some say it’s a profiteering practice by the company.

ZERA fuek orice increase

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that our economy has had acute cash shortages which have led to people buying money to get money, it may sound weird but it’s real. We live in a country where the value of money has a multi-tiered system; money in your bank account does not have the same value as money in your mobile phone wallet and that is not the same value as the scarce physical cash in hand and of course the United States Dollar is King if you can put your hands on it.

When money is the bank its called RTGS balance when its cash, it used to be the Bond Notes nut is now the Zim Dollar, when its in a mobile money wallet its called Ecocash and all of it is still ZWL which is Zimbabwean Dollars unless its in Nostro Accounts which are FCA but you can’t really withdraw that money. I have lost track of the number of times our currency has been rebranded, relaunched, re-introduced…

Bond notes

Some merchants will prefer one form of the currency while refusing another for example in the past week its reported some traders were refusing the Bond Notes which at one point in time had a value of 1:1 with the United States Dollar, possibly making it the strongest currency on the continent. A multi-currency system was introduced were people could transact using whatever currency they could find from United States dollars, to Euros and pounds even The Rand from South Africa, but that system was later stopped as it was said to fuel inflation and predatory pricing models.

Recently the use of the United States Dollar was brought back, the authorities say this was in response to the COVID pandemic and that we are not dollarizing again even as supermarkets and traders are being told to display prices in both Zim dollars and USD (using the official rate)

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you the greatest shock of all was when the perm secretary for Information read the riot act to mobile phone-based banking systems and practically throwing even the kitchen sink at them, blaming them for sabotaging the economy and the announced a suspension of the services.

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This came with practically no warning, except for a few rumours which had been spread via social media that anyone with a balance in their mobile phone wallet should quickly use the money or transfer it back to bank accounts. When the statement had gone out on the news, I got a call from my mother worried about what would happen to the money she had in her phone mobile wallet. I assured her it would be fine but I really wasn’t even sure what all this meant.

Mobile money suspended

Later the mobile phone company that owns the largest network of mobile money banking Ecocash would release a statement advising everyone to stay calm as they had a subscriber base of over 10 million and we should continue our lawful transactions the EcoCash way.

Ecocash

It felt like being caught between two quarrelling parents. Eventually, the Reserve Bank issued a statement on the suspension of agents and merchants but otherwise bonafide transactions will be processed normally.

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This is not the first time similar suspension have happened in 2008, bank transfers were suspended as they were said to be used for illicit foreign exchange deals.

Zimbabwe bans bank transfers

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that its twelve years later and it seems we still go round and round, banning and unbanning; suspending and unsuspecting this funny money economy.

Oh and the judiciary service commission tried to ban miniskirts for lady lawyers but looks like they shelving that decision.. I had wondered who would go around with a tape measure to ensure one’s skirt was never more than 3cm above the knees.

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If you were having coffee with me, I would show you a rare photo of the economic recovery blueprint our esteemed financial wizards are using to calculate the complex algorithm that will rehabilitate the economy.

Amie drawing @ 20 months and something about this blog – Robin ...

~B

23 Comments

  1. Holy Moly, every country has its own form of dsyfunctional parenting/leadership.

    If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that today we had the second and final round of our mayoral elections and I almost wasn’t able to vote because of 3 errors on my electoral card that don’t match my ID card. First it says M for Monsieur instead of Mme for Madame. Second they put an extra space between the Mc and the A in my surname and third they used the surname of my husband instead of my first name. But on a Sunday when everything in France us closed they seemed to have a telephone number to call, only to say, it’s not the mayoral office problem or the state problem,bits something called INSEE I have to contact. We love our acronyms here. But the good news was the person on the phone said it wasn’t the discretion of the bureau as to whether I would be allowed to vote. Probably the most exciting thing to happen in the room all day, an exercise of their power. They said yes.

    And I would tell you that the current mayor who has been in office for over 10 years is the ex wife of the previous mayor. And that a flyer in my letterbox tells me she had been criminally charged for a misappropriation of public funds in 2018, condemned to a suspended sentence of one year in prison, and 10 years ineligibility. That we urgently need transparency and honesty in our town.

    I would tell you that the Communist party here lives on and are making their propositions but they didn’t make it into the second round.
    This evening we will know if our city brings change, I certainly voted for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Claire!!!
      Wow all those errors it almost seems like electoral roll demons had been working overtime to stop you from exercising your constitutional right… How do so many errors even happen I do hope you can get it straightened out without too much bureaucracy, you may even end up having to prove you are you haha but glad you managed to vote!!!!

      I have been a legible vote for about 20 years now and almost all the votes I have cast seem as meaningless as putting an X on a piece of tissue paper and flushing it down the ballot box *sigh*
      With a record like that one wonders how the officials stay in office…
      Transparency and honesty are easy words to say when you have nothing to hide and it seems people have a lot to hide

      Thanks for the visit
      ~B

      PS how did the results go?

      Like

      1. So the optimist in me was hoping for change, so I’m disappointed, but I guess when fear pervades nations and the globe, “no change” stays in favour. No one is in the mood for revolution. So no change. But I did get to vote. Now I better go fix who I am.

        So I send my hopes and good vibes towards your country, that stability can return soon to alleviate the worry and anxiety that must be crippling many who don’t understand it and also those that do, whose life savings are being diminished.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It is all so confusing, I wonder that anyone is able to buy anything at all. Believe I’ll stick with black tea. Best wishes to you as you work to work the system and survive. Survival = success?!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s terribly confusing and if you mix in the lockdown restrictions it becomes one chaotic miss.
      It feels like we are counting down to a time when rage is going to turn into an ungovernable revolt.
      As long as we breathing.
      Thank you Lizl
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, it sounds like a worrying mess you have there to navigate around, that drawing was great. I think the British government are using the same algorithm in their decision making. haha!

    Like

  4. oh massive OMG my friend.
    While I love your artifact showing the economic recovery plan, I despise that your government seems to have fully missed that they are not creating a country of producers where you could focus on creating and building wonder things to be sold for profit and make life better for both buyer and seller. Instead they are creating a whole country of money speculators who spend their days trying to move around what they already have to be better positioned for the next change in the value of their money and pretty much anything else they have. Speculation is not immoral of itself, it just doesn’t produce anything for anyone other than the speculator so real growth all but completely disappears.
    This was fun, but a very sad report. Now that I know you are in the midst, I want to hear good news, real growth news of that tea pot shaped country of yours.

    Like

    1. Much appreciated and thank you for the visit it means a lot…
      It’s definitely a steaming pile of crap but I am not supposed to say that, it would make me a terrorist, wait huh? Yep 😂
      I stare at the moon and laugh because if I didn’t, I would cry.

      But hey we live and we dream, thanks again.
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

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