Nostro FCA My Foot, My Money Is Better Off Under My Mattress

Tinashe Nyahasha Avatar
A dollar bill, Econet US$1, Dhola Chete Super bundle

So the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the banks that he presides over and the government that employs him are telling us to trust them again. We are foolish to do so if we do.

First there’s been no admission of guilt

None of these guys have admitted that they robbed us. Not once but twice. First, in 2009 our money became worthless overnight. Well, it was already worthless due to hyperinflation but still the Zim dollar was suddenly de-monetised and value was wiped off our books. Life insurance savings became nothing.

We didn’t give it much thought because we figured they were doing what was necessary to deal with hyperinflation. They introduced a multicurrency regime with the US dollar as the reference currency. Things stabilised and we were using the US dollar.

Yes using such a high demand and strong currency has consequences: cheap (inexpensive and low quality) goods were dumped onto Zimbabwe from all over and Zimbabwean produced goods could not compete on the local market let alone the international market.

For those reasons and the bigger reason of an undisciplined government that doesn’t understand the principle of living within one’s means, the US dollar started getting scarcer and scarcer. The central bank cooked up Bond Notes to be the saviour. We resisted the introduction of these notes of bondage but they ignored us and just changed what the rule book says and we were left with bondage.

The promise that we could get our deposited US dollar any time on demand was of course not fulfilled. We resisted the bond notes thinking the government would print plenty of them and make them worthless again. We were wrong. This time they didn’t even bother printing anything. They just created make believe numbers in our bank accounts and looted the actual deposited USD.

After that they kept insisting that what we had in our accounts were USD when the reality was different. When the situation got worse we were then told that accounts had been separated into FCA Nostro and FCA RTGS. The former had to be funded with physical USD and could have USD withdrawn from it.

When it was convenient for them they then admitted that there was a difference between US dollars and what we were using since 2016 through electronic channels. The RTGS dollar was created but there was no real admission that the government and central bank had robbed us these three times.

Without an admission of guilt there can be no trust.

And now restrictions

I was shocked when I wanted to withdraw USD funds I had deposited into a so called nostro account. My bank told me to give them an invoice from where I needed to use the funds. Huh? When I deposited the funds they didn’t care where I had brought those funds from and now I had to justify accessing my own money.

Using the nostro account was a measure of good faith on my part and now the party that has betrayed my trust several times in the past 10 years tells me I can’t be trusted with my own money.

Banks have always been like that really. We give them our livelihoods to take care of but they won’t even trust us with basic Eversharp 15M pens they keep chained to the desk when we are filling in forms. This lack of trust on their part tells me how they think.

They know they cannot be trusted and so they think we are like them. I don’t want to be stupid and gullible anymore. If I do come across US dollars again, I think I will trust my pillow before I trust these folks. I cringe as I type this because we used to have lessons against keeping money under mattresses way back in primary school.

Anyway, this is me ranting. I hope Governor Mangudya reads my rant and he realises that he has a lot of work to do before we can trust the system again. The fact that farmers who toil and sweat are then restricted on how much of their money they can access in the currency they have been paid in does not help the situation.

We want to see good faith gestures for once


  1. Diaz

    My brother, I’m with you 100 percent. You are better off taking the risk of keeping your money under the pillow. This government cannot be trusted. I don’t.

  2. BabaB

    Yip that is my experience with nostros exactly. At the company where I work, nmb would not let us draw any cash from our nostro, and so we are now offering a rate to clients of 4.8 for cash and 3.9 for nostro against their RTGS invoices… nostro is not equal to forex!

  3. Tinashe Nyahasha

    Eish, really?

    Why am I surprised though, I had to go through hoops to get my money. Lucky I did have an invoice. What if I just wanted to give someone a cash gift? VaMangudya doesn’t approve such?

  4. Haha

    Lol… You still use banks…I know we forced to but I don’t trust them from before… We are their supplier and they killing is with just bank charges…I discount bond notes and charge a premium on RTGS… So I can with draw cash…

  5. Worried

    Worse still you transfer 25k… Get charges 500imt… With all the account number changes the wrong account is given the money bounces back…except the 500.. The bank refused…I told them I want it in writing… Surely the rbz has to refund… Stan chart is the bank…. Note I’m reading they transferring people in the sanctions list… Make me think they in cahoots with our looters sorry liberators

  6. MMM Guider

    Mavrodi the late was right afterall. Banks are sanitised Ponzi Schemes.

  7. Tinashe Nyahasha

    Hey Haha, it’s amazing how we have to go through gymnastics just to survive and access our own money

  8. Tinashe Nyahasha

    Sorry you had to go through that Worried. Looks like the banking establishment doesn’t care at all

  9. Always off Topic

    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times then foresure i am a Zimbo.

    Some weeks back Mangudya was complaining that money withdrawn from nostro accounts ended up on the black market (story appeared on Pindula) and therefore threatened to ban forex withdrawals altogether. I guess some banks are heeding the call to a certain extent. So Mangudya is unlikely to come to anyones rescue regarding this matter, as i am quite sure these measures are his doing.
    Donot worry guys the economy is on the “right track”. All you have to do is sign a petition for sanctions to be removed/ suspended and poof, all the USA Dollars we need will fall from the sky.
    That is the master turnaround strategy from our government of technocrats. Oh, wait i am forgetting to mention the other key component of the strategy, which is being implemented by our Commander in Chief: making sure the begging bowl reaches all corners of the world on his expensive but necessary flights, because we all know that begging bowls donot fly commercial.

    FOOLS, you Zanu loving FOOLS.

  10. Anonymous

    Never never trust this regime with your money
    We have been bitten twice already….I won’t go for a third round!

  11. Digital Words

    Another revolt on the horizon. Mark my digital letters, the year will not end without another march in the streets.

  12. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    In my experience NMB has always been stingy with USD, hiding behind some hidden directives noone has ever heard of. From the day bond notes were issued, NMB never gave out USD for withdrawals. You could only get bond notes and coins. It leaves you wondering where all the USD funds allocated to it by RBZ were going to, since the introduction of bond.

  13. Tinashe Nyahasha

    Funny thing: My bank is NMB!

    I told my bank manager they were the only ones who had these silly restrictions but the manager told me directive came from RBZ. Now I am more convinced NMB is the problem

  14. Anonymous

    i suggest opening a non-resident account with any bank in South Africa they will take care of your money