3 January 2013

Zambia: Copperbelt Welcomes Rebased Kwacha

A CROSS-SECTION of residents on the Copperbelt has welcomed the use of the rebased Kwacha which was effected on January 01.

A survey conducted by the Times yesterday showed that most traders had no difficulties in using the new notes and coins.

The traders said the rebasing of the Kwacha had improved their business transactions and likened the new notes to that which were used during first republican President Kenneth Kaunda's government.

Agness Kawasha of Kamakonde Township in Kitwe said the use of new notes and coins was not complicated.

Sky Centre Investment employee William Chanbane said in Kitwe that massive sensitisation on the rebased notes and new coins had worked well.

Mopani Copper Mines central shaft miner, Dominic Mbulo praised the Government for rebasing the Kwacha, saying it had improved handling and purchasing of goods and services.

At Masala Market in Ndola, a trader, Joseph Chishala said he had no problems with the new notes, adding that the re-introduction of the coins would particularly ease the trouble of looking for change.

Mr Chishala, however, admitted that he was already encountering problems from people who tender old notes but later refuse to get rebased notes as change.

Chifubu market secretary Kennedy Kasonde said the new notes were portable for the traders especially that the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) had flooded the market with smaller denominations.

A check in the supermarkets showed that some had quickly adjusted to the new notes although longer-than-usual queues formed in places like Pick n Pay.

Shoprite could not open in Ndola in the morning because the system was not yet configured with the rebased notes but the store was later opened in the afternoon.

At some filling station shops like SGC on Kabalenga Road, the tills were producing receipts with rebased pricing although the change was mostly given in old notes.

That was also the case at Spar and Quicksave outlets in town while most Automated Teller Machines had people milling around, some for the curiosity of seeing the new notes.

Marketeers interviewed at Chisokone market said the sensitisation campaign done by BoZ on the new notes was not enough.

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