Zimbabwe will introduce its own bank notes, known as bond notes, at the end of next month.
Reserve Bank govern John Mangudya made the announcement yesterday, raising fears of a return to a domestic currency abandoned in 2009 as hyperinflation soared out of control.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of its worst financial crisis since switching its currency to the US dollar.
The new notes in small dollar denominations are meant to help address cash shortages that have fuelled protests against the government.
Mangudya said during a monetary policy statement that the equivalent of $75-million(R1.07-billion) in the notes would be circulated by year-end.
The bank was far from re introducing a local currency, he said.
Mangudya sought to allay concerns of a return to rampant money printing and inflation rates that peaked at 500billion per cent, by saying the notes would account for less than 1% of the $6-billion(R86-billion) held in bank deposits.
An independent body would also monitor the printing and circulation of the $2 and $5 denominations to make sure things did not get out of control, he said.
“It’s about trust and confidence, and we are saying if you don’t want them [bond notes],don’t take them.We won’t over print the bond notes,”Mangudya said.
Activist leaders said the scheme would not answer their concerns and promised more rallies against economic hardships and the man they blame – President Robert Mugabe, 93.
Promise Mkwananzi, leader of the #Tajamuka protest movement, said: “[The bond notes] are not acceptable.
“It’s a way of trying to steal our money. “Our action on the ground will demonstrate our resolve to stop that madness,” he said.