The new currency seems to be working as far as reducing the thirst for cash goes. Even before its introduction, the mere announcement by the RBZ that they were going to introduce more notes and coins had a chilling effect on the illegal cash market that at its zenith charged people as much as 100% to make withdrawals.

Yesterday, Wednesday 13 November, we saw something we haven’t seen in months: Dejected illegal cash sellers slashed the rate to 16% for coins as low as 20% for notes as the new currency released by the RBZ flooded the market and put a damper on their business.

The last time we saw rates anyway near this was back in June before the government scrapped the multicurrency system. Even at these supposed bargain rates customers were still few and far apart.

Most of their would-be customers had gone back to their banks to try their luck getting the new currency. Even late in the afternoon banks were thronged by depositors lining up to make withdrawals.