The Bank of Zambia has appealed to members of the public not to hold low-value coins but to put them back into circulation.
Bank of Zambia Public Relations Officer, Besnart Mwanza said people in possession of low-value coins such as 5 Ngwee and 10 Ngwees are encouraged to deposit them at any commercial bank or the central bank rather than holding them.
“The low-value coins have been released in circulation and are very useful but people see them of no value,” Ms. Mwanza said.
Ms. Mwanza said in a statement that 5 Ngwees and 10 Ngwees have been released in circulation though most people just keep them for unknown reasons.
After a random check at most chain stores in Ndola, management at the named stores who did not want to be identified told ZANIS that they do not have enough low-value coins to give customers as change accusing the Bank of Zambia of not releasing the low- value coins in circulation.
But Ms. Mwanza refuted the claims by chain stores and stated that the Bank of Zambia has been releasing enough low-value coins in circulation, 50 ngwees and K1 inclusive which she added commercial banks are at liberty to access.
“However for 5 ngwees and 10 ngwees, these have been released into circulation and most people just keep them and not use them,” she explained.
Meanwhile, Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) Public Relations Officer, Rainford Mutabi said consumers are supposed to demand their change from any store no matter how small whenever expected, or pay the actual price of goods purchased.
“The question of which party loses or gains more during a transaction is quite clear that consumer suffers losses and retailers gain. Consumers are supposed to obtain value for their money,” Mr. Mutabi said.
He said that the Commission has already engaged the Central Bank on the matter.
Mr. Mutabi added that CCPC continues to carry out educational campaigns to encourage financial inclusion in the retail and financial sectors around the country.
And Phillip Chikonde a consumer said it is sad that chain stores fail to give 5 ngwees and 10 ngwees coins as the change to consumers yet they are asked to pay the full amount for the goods bought.
Mr. Chikonde suggested that the chain stores should knock off the coins from their prices or get the low-value coins from the central bank.