For the first time in a while, there were bank queues at almost every bank in Harare as depositors patiently waited for their turn to withdraw cash. Earlier this year bank queues would have been a bad sign of cash shortages but as the year progressed there wasn’t even cash to queue for.
We did a few rounds in town going from bank to bank to see how people were viewing the new cash injection. Despite fears that a cash injection would fuel inflation by experts, most ordinary people actually welcomed the move as they were tired of being fleeced by cash dealers.
A lot of people, however, were irked by the withdrawal limits of $300 per week which many people felt was a little bit low given the effects of inflation. They also expressed dismay at having to carry around loads of coins. Turns out $300 in $2 coins is literary more than a handful and hard to handle.
Is the withdrawal limit too low?
To be quite honest given how most people transact $300 per week ought to be enough for most people the way I see it. Most purchases can be paid for using swipe/Ecocash negating the need for a lot of cash.
The only time I need cash is when making small purchases such as tomatoes, sweets and such. Even with inflation, no one is spending $300 on tomatoes.
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