There was drama in the streets of Kabwe this afternoon when a street vender refused to collect a K10.00 rebased note, previously K10, 000 from a customer, saying she did not want to be duped.
This was after a customer handed a rebased note to an old woman, who only identified herself as Bana Mpundu, to purchase tomatoes valued at K8.00, (K8, 000), from her stand.
Bana Mpundu practically refused to collect the money and demanded the return of her merchandise, saying she did not want to lose her goods by obtaining a fake note.
In an interview with ZANIS, Bana Mpundu said she did not understand why a person would come into town all the way from home just to give her a foreign currency, especially on New Year’s Day.
She unwittingly complained that it is unfair for people to dupe elderly people like her because they are struggling to make ends meet with little resources that they have.
Bana Mpundu, however, recalled that she once used a similar note in the Kaunda era, but unknown to her is the fact that the Zambian Kwacha has been rebased with effect from today by way of cancelling the three zeros.
Moreover, after a profound explanation from her fellow street vendors, David Mwape, Bana Mpundu accepted to collect the money but on condition that Mr Mwape exchanges his old Ten Thousand Kwacha note with the new currency.
Bana Mpundu, aged over 55, is just one of the many Zambians that have no absolute knowledge on the rebased currency and definitely need sensitization.
Meanwhile, Kabwe’s famous Shopping Mall, Shoprite and Restaurant, Hungry Lion, closed business abruptly because the shop assistants had trouble understanding the rebased currency.
A check by ZANIS found the two shops closed by 10:00 hours in the morning, because the shop assistants had trouble assimilating the transactions in the rebased currency.
Some of the shop assistants talked to said they had trouble reconciling prices in the rebased currency as most of their items and food had a segment of Ngwees but that they did not understand the modalities, except for block figures.
They said they needed a lot of sensitization, not only from the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) but their employers as well, because the new financial system now entails that they must give their clients the symmetries, accordingly.
They, therefore, closed the shops, saying they will only resume operations once their managers, whom they contacted from Lusaka, give them a substantive in-house training on the new currency.
And NATSAVE Bank in Kabwe today broke its record of latency when it happened to be the only banking institution that had operational ATM machines.
All the banks were non-operational except for NATSAVE.
The only challenge was that the bank had no VISA services to allow inter-banking services, and as a result, only indigenous customers had an opportunity to use the facility.
Nonetheless, the three banks promised to resume their ATM machine banking services by 14:00 hours today while ZANACO hopes to resume its operations tomorrow.