The Zimbabwean Government passed legislation on the 24th of June, that the Zimbabwe Dollar (existing bond notes – no new physical currency at this time) is the only legal form of currency that may be used in Zimbabwe for day to day transactions.
A Statutory instrument has been passed that there will be no trading (shops, restaurants) in USD or any foreign currency and only the new Zimbabwe Dollar (Zim$) may be used.
Implementation is happening, but it remains a bit unsure as all establishments are waiting on guidance on how to do this and an official exchange rate.
Foreign tourists will not be impacted by the announcement. Business will be as usual.
How this would work in the future, when the shops/restaurants implement this – clients would exchange their US Dollars in Bureau de change to the new Zimbabwean $ and make cash payments just like you would do in almost any other International country as a tourist.
If you make payments using cards, it would be debited in Zim $ and then converted when it is taken off the card at the relevant exchange rate, just like any other currency.
It is however not a huge stumbling issue as tourists will get value for their money and will not be significantly impacted by this.
This measure is an effort by the Zimbabwean Government to deal with illegal trading in particular in US Dollars.
Some of your questions answered here:
- Will visa payment still be accepted in USD cash? Yes as per normal, there are no plans to change this
- What about tips? If clients tip in USD will the local guides be able to convert to local currency? Yes, this is OK.
- What about ad hoc tours and market/shop/restaurant purchases? We recommend visitors use credit cards as much as possible for local transactions.