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Operators reject rands
Stephen Chadenga

Gweru commuter operators reject rands
Gweru commuter omnibus operators are now rejecting the South African rand arguing they were incurring losses due to the currency’s instability.

Since last week commuters were advised that the rand would not be accepted when they paid their fares, with holders of the currency left stranded.

“We would like to advise customers that we no longer accept the rand as kombi fare,” read a notice on one kombi plying the city-Ascot suburb route.

Commuters interviewed said the kombi operators should be arrested, as they have unilaterally outlawed an acceptable legal tender.

“How can kombi operators just wake up and say they no longer accept the rand, are they government?” queried Constance Mariko an Ascot suburb resident.

“We implore law enforcement agents to descend on these kombi operators, so they adhere to the laws of the country.”

The rand was recently slipped against the United States dollar, a situation that has seen many businesses reluctant to accept the currency, because of its value on the international market.

One US dollar is trading at about $1 to R13,50.

A conductor, James Tagwirei said they decided to reject the rand because its instability was causing them headaches in coming up with the best exchange rate.
“We now accept the US dollar and bond coins and not the South African rand because its unstable,” he said.

Spokesperson for the Gweru Commuter Omnibus Operators’ Association, Albert Chirau was not available for comment yesterday.

In 2009, Zimbabwe introduced a multi-currency regime with the United States dollar, South African rand, British pound and the Botswana pula as legal tender.

Recently, monetary authorities also introduced the Euro, Chinese yuan, the Indian rupee, Australian dollar and the Japanese yen as legal tender.

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