Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda has told parliament that it is a criminal offence to use counterfeit banknotes and those found with them will be liable for imprisonment.
Mr Chikwanda said the penalty is enough deterrence for people to be discouraged to engage in the production and use of counterfeit banknotes.
The Minister explained in parliament that the Bank of Zambia incorporates sophisticated security features in designing the banknote especially on high value banknotes as they are more susceptible to counterfeit.
The Finance Minister was responding to a question from Kaputa Member of Parliament Maxas Ng’onga who wanted to know what measures government has taken to address the problem of counterfeit Kwacha notes and what it is doing to sensitise rural communities on counterfeit notes to protect them from being swindled.
Mr Chikwanda said government through the Bank of Zambia conducts regular sensitization campaigns across the country on the security features of genuine banknotes.
He said the programme was especially visible during the time of rebasing of the Kwacha in 2012 and added that the Bank of Zambia also provides literature that assists the public to know more about genuine banknotes.
Mr Chikwanda added that the Bank of Zambia monitors both the quantity and quality of banknotes in circulation by ensuring that clean banknotes are in circulation and that all intercepted counterfeit notes are removed from circulation.