Zimbabwe’s deputy president Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly refused to disclose where the newly introduced surrogate currency known as “bond notes” is being printed.
According to NewsDay, Mnangagwa was answering question from opposition lawmakers on the circulation of the bond notes.
He reportedly said that the lawmakers were free to “speculate on where [the] bond notes were being printed”.
Mnangagwa further told the opposition legislators that anyone who was not comfortable with the bond notes was free to use any currency of their choice.
“MPs should not be worried because government will restrict itself to the amount of bond notes anchored on the $200m facility. Those of us who feel uncomfortable using bond notes should continue using the United States dollar because bond notes and US dollars are interchangeable. If you have no faith in bond notes, why not continue using the currency that you have faith in?” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.
Zimbabwe started issuing bond notes on Monday in a bid to ease critical cash shortages amid widespread fears of a return to hyperinflation.
The crisis-hit southern African country has used multiple foreign currencies, including the US dollar since 2009 after a rate of inflation that peaked at 500 billion percent rendered the Zimbabwe dollar unusable.
The new currency, which closely resembles the former Zimbabwe dollar, comes in $2 notes and $1 coins.
Its reception has so far been mixed, as some local shops have reportedly rejecting it.