Water canon and tear gas used during the Harare protest

Zimbabwean police have forcibly dispersed crowds of protestors who are demonstrating against plans by the central bank to re-introduce local banknotes in the country suffering from a harsh economic downturn.

A  Zimbabwean police water cannon disperses war veterans who had gathered to demonstrate against a faction within the ruling Zanu pf party reportedly led by the First Lady Grace Mugabe in Harare, Thursday, Feb. 18,2016. Mugabe was instrumental in the ouster of Zimbabwe's first deputy President Joice Mujuru in 2014. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

A Zimbabwean police water cannon disperses war veterans who had gathered to demonstrate against a faction within the ruling Zanu pf party reportedly led by the First Lady Grace Mugabe in Harare, Thursday, Feb. 18,2016. Mugabe was instrumental in the ouster of Zimbabwe’s first deputy President Joice Mujuru in 2014. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Police fired tear gas and water canons on the demonstrators of about 100 who were marching through the streets of the capital, Harare. They were headed towards the central bank before the riot police dispersed the procession.

Zimbabwe Protests

Protesters blocked by the riot police (Zimbabwe)

Zimbabwean police officer firing ruber bullets

Police wielding batons and firing water cannons also dispersed a similar march earlier this month by unemployed graduates who were denouncing the government’s plan to introduce bond notes in the face of dollar scarcity.

Citizens are worried about the Zimbabwe Central Bank’s plans to introduce banknotes also referred to as bond notes, in October, with the aim of easing critical dollar shortage.

Most Zimbabweans fear the possibilities of the central bank’s plan to introduce the bond coin, which will lead to rampant money printing as transpired eight years ago when inflation hit 500% wiping out people’s savings and pensions.

The Zanu-PF government has recently faced a number of anti-government protests from different quarters. The protests are largely against the worsening economic conditions in the country.

The Zimbabwean government has said before, it would not adopt a sole official trading unit. According to the Finance and Economic Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, the government would maintain a multi-currency rule.

‘‘We do not intend to adopt a single currency, but we will continue to bolster the strength of the multi-currency system,’‘ the minister said.

Patrick Chinamasa

Patrick Chinamasa

He said the bond notes would not be imposed on anyone who did not want to use them, adding that their introduction would not mean the return of the Zimbabwean dollar either. Chinamasa also said that the issuance of the notes would be consistent with export receipts.

The government has failed to pay workers salaries due to cash shortages. So we ask is this their way of insuring salaries on time? Hmmm …we wonder.

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