The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe extended its deadline for the countryâ€™s currency changeover until Monday, causing chaos throughout the country over the weekend as Zimbabweans went on whirlwind of shopping sprees.
Following the countryâ€™s record-high inflation rate nearing 1,000 percent per year, the RBZ decided to introduce new currency notes after knocking three zeroes off the old notes earlier this month. The extension of the deadline came after pressure from banks that complained to Reserve Bank Governer Gideon Gono, about the tight deadline.
The old notes became obsolete at the close of business on Monday. The new currency will prevent local consumers from hauling around huge amounts of money, for even the smallest purchases.
Zimbabwean consumers spent the weekend stocking up on bulk products, from everyday products like coffee and toilet paper to more expensive goods such as clothing, cell phones and electronics.
Individuals are allowed to exchange money up to a limit of old ZAR$100- million old ($40) for the new currency in a single transaction each week, staring from August 1. In a bid to prevent money laundering, the RBZ has requested that individuals who wish to exchange more that the permitted ZAR$100-million, need to provide documentation to confirm they have legally earned or received the money.