The privately-owned News Day has reported that police in Harare arrested a man believed to be printing the recently introduced bond notes possibly to the value of $2 680 from his spare bedroom. The bond notes where introduced to plug cash shortages – and already fakes are being printed.
Elton Nyamudahondo (33) is alleged to have been printing sheets of 5 US bond notes, the biggest denomination. Detectives “found Nyamudahondo seated on a bed in a spare bedroom, while holding a Munich paper sheet which had four 5 US counterfeit bond notes printed on it”, News Day said.
There have been concerns about the security of the bond notes, currently available in denominations of 2 US and 5 US (a 1 US bond coin is also in circulation). The 2 US bond notes are green, but the green colour rubs off easily. There were claims that the notes were being faked even before they were introduced.
President Robert Mugabe said at his 93rd birthday party last Saturday that the notes were only “temporary”. But with reports that the authorities plan to introduce the bills in denominations of 10 US and 20 US, there are fears they’ll go the way of Zimbabwe’s bearer cheques in the pre-2009 era and quickly be rendered worthless.
While in theory bond notes have no value outside Zimbabwe, they are being traded on online auction site eBay where sellers are asking up to $7,59 for a 2 US bond note.