—-Villagers in Manyemunyemu area under Mukuni’s Chiefdom in Kazungula district have expressed ignorance over the usage of the newly introduced coins under the rebased currency.
This came to light over the weekend during a Bank of Zambia (BOZ) sensitization programme of the Kwacha Rebased currency conducted by the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Manyemunyemu.
According to Shadreck Kazembe of Sialwindi village, most villagers in Manyemunyemu have had no problems with the new Kwacha note but expressed concern over the usage of the coins which he said was very difficult to understand.
Mr Kazembe said he was among those who used to reject change in coins when buying something because he did not know the value of the coins in relation to the old kwacha.
He said a lot of customers in the area have been swindled by shop owners because of their ignorance concerning the value of the newly introduced coins in comparison with the old Kwacha.
Mr Kazembe, however, expressed gratitude and assured that he had gained some knowledge after a lengthy discussion with ZANIS crew and the community in the area.
Meanwhile, some retailers in the area had earlier complained that they are finding it difficult to trade using the new coins.
Geoffrey Kayoba, a proprietor of Musamu Wa Nzala Traders, explained that he has accumulated a lot of coins in his business but cannot give them out because customers reject them.
Mr Kayoba said the most unfortunate part is that most people have not yet accepted the money which became a legal tender on January 1, 2013.
He disclosed that it is worrisome that even wholesalers in Zimba district where most of his merchandise come from have stopped accepting the old 50 and 100 Kwacha notes which are still valid up to June 30, 2013.
Mr Kayoba said as a business man, he found it very difficult to trade in such a manner because he cannot take his old kwacha notes to the banks in Livingstone citing long distance.
He wondered why some people have ignored the President’s directive that people should familiarize themselves with the features of the new currency as well as accepting the old ones during this period up to June 30, 2013.
And Douglas Mulalu, a teacher at Manyemunyemu, said people still needed massive sensitization on the issue because of the challenges that both customers and shop owners have been encountering in business transactions.
Mr Mulalu disclosed that some retailers in the area have also resorted to rejecting the old K50 and K100 notes from customers for fear of accumulating them in bulks as a result of the challenges they face with wholesalers in Zimba.
In a similar development, Joseph Mashame, owner of Manyemunyemu Agro Dealers, mentioned that a certain customer came to his shop recently with a KR 2 note and demanded for things worthy KR20, a sign that some people did not understand the new currency.