Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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RBZ limits instant cash withdrawals

RBZ limits instant cash withdrawals

01/02/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

THE central bank has slapped a US$10,000 limit on instant cash withdrawals 
and introduced notice periods for larger transactions as the country battles 
to contain a worsening liquidity crisis.

Presenting his monetary policy statement Tuesday, RBZ chief Gideon Gono 
said: “In order to facilitate country-wide smooth payment transactions as 
well as curbing illegal externalization of cash, all financial institutions 
are being called upon to moderate instant cash withdrawals to a maximum of 

In addition notice periods would now be required for higher value 
transactions “in order to allow banks sufficient time to prepare”.

Gono said transactions of up to $20,000 would require a one-day notice while 
those between $30,000 and $40,000 would require a notice period of three 
working days. Customers withdrawing more than US$50,000 must give banks a 
notice period of five working days.

“To compliment these measures, the banking public is strongly encouraged to 
use the Real Time Gross Settlement system (RTGS), Credit Cards and other 
approved electronic money transfer systems in settling their day-to-day 
financial transactions,” Gono said.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti last month admitted that the country was facing 
serious liquidity challenges.

The government ditched the Zimbabwe dollar in preference for more stable 
foreign currencies in 2009 but the lack of external support at a time the 
country’s export sectors are struggling to recover has resulted in acute 
cash shortages.

The cash crunch was also seen to have forced Biti – who has previously 
opposed taking on more debt — to draw-down an additional US$110 million 
from an emergency facility with the IMF.

Gono said, going forward, the country should consider securitising its real 
estate and mineral assets to help address the “recurrent liquidity 

“In view of persistent liquidity challenges that have conspired with limited 
access to offshore credit lines to hamstring the attainment of fast paced 
growth, serious considerations must be accorded to asset securitization as a 
viable option to address recurrent liquidity challenges in Zimbabwe,” he 
“Zimbabwe is (also) endowed with vast mineral wealth which remains largely 

“In order to unlock value from the country’s mineral wealth, mining claims 
can be used as a form of payment to cooperating partners that clear Zimbabwe’s 
debt. In this regard mineral claims in the gold, platinum and ferro-alloys 
sub sectors can be securitised.

“This involves external new borrowing by the country to retire the totality 
or part of external debt, using identified public assets as collateral. 
Valuation of these assets, in foreign currency, gives an indication of how 
much the country can borrow under this option.”


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