Economic Association of Malawi (Ecama) President, Henry Kachaje, says the introduction of a K2000 bank note by the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) was overdue considering the stubborn and persistent high inflation prevailing in the country.
RBM on Friday announced that it will on December 19, 2016, introduce a K2000 banknote into circulation in accordance with Section 17 of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (Amendment) Act 2010.
RBM said the denomination will become part of the existing family of banknotes comprising the K20, K50, K100, K200, K500 and K1000 and will be introduced in line with recent economic developments as well as part of the Bank’s strategy towards minimising currency issuance costs, saving foreign exchange, and increasing operational efficiency.
RBM said the theme depicted on the K2000 banknote is “Social Development (Tertiary Education)” in line with the running themes on the current Malawi Kwacha series and as such, the motif on the back of the banknote will depict the Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must).
The front face of the banknote will bear the portrait of Reverend John Chilembwe.
News of the introduction of a K2000 note has sent shockwaves among small-scale business operators as well as minibus conductors who fear it will bring challenges in as far as getting change is concerned.
“Currently we are already struggling to split the K1000 bank note.
Imagine what would happen if three or five people in a minibus produce K2000 banknotes for a K200 fare. It will bring chaos,” said James Chigwenembe a minibus conductor in Blantyre.
Linley Banda, a fresh foods vendor in Mangochi concurred with Chigwenembe that the new banknote will present a headache to traders.
“I can foresee some trouble for small scale businesses no doubt about that. Most of our businesses have a small capital and we will struggle running up and down to split the K2000 banknote,” said Banda.
But in an interview on Friday, Kachaje said with the stubbornly high inflation, Malawi needed a K5000 banknote.
“It is a reflection of the stubborn and persistently high inflation that has prevailed in the country,” said Kachaje.