The government has announced that the US$75.00 and US$30.00 COVID-19 allowances awarded to civil servants and government pensioners, respectively, will not be in notes form but will be in the form of a purchasing electronic card.

George Charamba, the Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Presidential Communications), said the arrangement allows money to circulate within the formal monetary system.

He posted on Twitter:

The USD75 allowance if flat across all grades. The USD75 will not come in notes form; it will be a purchasing electronic card to ensure this enhanced buying power does not feed the white market and allows money to circulate within the formal monetary system!! So do not expect cash disbursements.

Imagine what upward of USD25m monthly cash disbursement would do to the white market!

I should have added that the three months-COVID-19 related income adjustment takes us to the next major Financial Pronouncement by Govt, in which case there will not be a hiatus or discontinuity in income

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development said that the US dollar allowances would be paid into US dollar-denominated Nostro bank accounts, which all civil servants and Government pensioners had to open.

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