THE Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has advised the business community not to panic with their old Kwacha notes because the deadline for the exchange of the old currency will be effected three years after the new notes have been introduced.
And the central bank has said the old currency would continue to be legal tender for a period of six months after the rebased Kwacha was introduced on the market although the exchange of the old money with the rebased currency will continue for a three-year period.
BoZ regional director, Chisha Mwanakatwe, said in Ndola yesterday that there was lot of money in circulation and there was sufficient time to enable all the people with the old notes to have them replaced with the new ones.
Mr Mwanakatwe said the central bank was determined to see to it that no Zambians lost their hard earned money because they failed to meet the deadline for the replacing of old currency with the rebased notes.
"Bank of Zambia is making adequate arrangements to make sure that no Zambians will have difficulties to access the rebased Kwacha which will reach all parts of the country," he said.
At the weekend, Mr Mwanakatwe, led personnel from the BoZ regional office in Ndola, to sensitise members of the public about the process of replacing the old currency with the rebased Kwacha at Jacaranda Shopping Mall.
"There is a six month mandatory requirement that all traders and shop owners display the old prices and new prices for all the goods and services they are selling to the public. Between January 1 and June 30 and there will be dual prices displays showing Kwacha (K) prices and the rebased Kwacha (KR) prices in shops and in other service providers," he said.
Central bank personnel have gone round all areas of the Copperbelt including the rural districts of Lufwanyama, Masaiti and Mpongwe.
Mr Mwanakatwe said the response from members of the public over preparations for the rebased Kwacha was encouraging because all their fears were being allayed by the central bank personnel.
He said the old were of great help when it came to convincing young people and that currency in form of coins were as valuable as the paper notes.
Mr Mwanakatwe said it was encouraging to note that in most areas visited, old people were showing appreciation for the use of the coins whose life span was more than 26 years making business sense for the Government to continue using them because the durability made them cheap for BoZ.
He said the coins were expensive to make compared to paper notes but they have an advantage because they last longer compared to paper money which has a short life span.