THERE is a suspicious collection of old Zimbabwe dollar bank notes going on in the country’s major cities with the magpie cartel paying as much as $5 for a note.
Post Business understands that there are representatives of collectors in cities that include Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Kadoma and Kwekwe.
The representatives then engage youths in the respective towns that do the rounds with posters, advertising the newly found enterprise. In Mutare, some youths who are moving around with the posters said that the representative can be located at Miekles Park in the City Centre.
The poster, which has several contact numbers for persons in different cities, depicts several old Zimbabwe dollar notes which the collectors can pay for. An effort to engage the Mutare representative over the phone was futile as his mobile was unreachable, but the magpie representative in Kadoma picked the call and confirmed that they indeed pay varying amounts of US dollars for different old Zimbabwe dollar notes.
“Yes we are collecting the old Zimbabwe dollar notes and pay varying amounts of US dollars for different old Zimbabwe dollar notes. Where are you?
“We had a meeting of city representatives so the Mutare guy could be on his way. The thing is we are moved or changed from one city to the other after a while. We actually had a meeting in Harare at our offices and there should be a new guy coming to Mutare.
“For the one hundred trillion notes, we pay $5 per note, for the 50 trillion notes, we pay $1,50 to $2 per note depending on the number of notes that one has. For the 20 trillion notes, we pay 20 cents per note while we also pay the same amount for the 10 trillion notes. For the billion dollar notes we pay varying amounts of seven cents, 10 cents or even 20 cents depending on the amount of the notes one has,” he said.
Asked on the intended purpose of the collection of the old Zimbabwe dollar notes, he unconvincingly said they are collecting them for historical reasons.
“We sell history. It is just like someone who hordes tomatoes for 50 cents and sells them for a dollar. It is for historical purposes just like keeping items in archives. Just that,” he said.
However, the suspicious collection of the old Zimbabwe dollar notes has fuelled speculation that they are being used in production of fake US dollar notes.
Repeated efforts to get an official comment from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe were fruitless at the time of going to Press as the central bank’s public relations manager said he had not yet received responses from relevant authorities.
“I have received your questions and have forwarded them to the relevant authorities and I am yet to get a response,’’ said Mr Alson Mfiri, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe public relations manager.