Almost all civil servants are being forced by circumstances to liquidate their Nostro USD funds at their banks without ever using the money in stores. This is because despite numerous statements and even a Statutory Instrument, dual pricing is still not widespread as most formal shops continue to sell in Zimbabwean dollars. A lot of civil servants have therefore flocked to their banks to fill forms to have their funds liquidated.

IEach day when one visits various banks there are queues of civil servants filling liquidation forms. Because of social distancing banks such as FBC no longer allow the civil servants into their banking halls because they are simply too many of them and they would make it impossible to serve others. Instead, they are given forms by guards which they fill and return. Steward bank requires that the forms be filled and submitted electronically while Stanbic has a USSD option that allows civil servants to convert their funds at prevailing official rates.

Impossible to spend Nostro USD in shops

Even though banks cheerfully embraced Nostro USD when it comes to opening accounts they were not so enthusiastic when it comes to implementing payment systems that would allow civil servants to actually spend this money in shops. Most civil servants don’t actually have Nostro USD bank cards anyway and most POS cannot handle Nostro USD payments according to our sources. Indeed banks have zero incentive to do so. Without ways to spend the money, civil servants end up liquidating the money.