The Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has advised people in Nsanje District against mutilating or destroying banknotes as doing so is contrary to the country’s laws.
Speaking on Sunday in Nsanje during a currency awareness campaign on how to properly handle the local currency, RBM manager for currency operations Samuel Senzani said proper handling of the kwacha increases its lifespan in circulation.
He said: “Replacing damaged banknotes costs RBM about K20 billion per year. The central bank also spends about K65 million every three months to raise public awareness on how best to handle the currency while in circulation.
“We also condemn the rejection of the K20 and K50 denominations as well as counterfeiting higher denominations. Nsanje is one of the districts in the country where the malpractice is prevalent; hence, the campaign.”
People learn how to protect money
Senzani, therefore, urged people to embrace modern methods of handling currency to preserve its lifespan, identification and security features.
Group village head Nthukuso from Senior Chief Malemia in the district said the meeting was important because it will help the government to reduce money used to replace mutilated currency.
He assured RBM that he will engage businesspeople who deal in fish and vegetable business not to soak money in water.
Nsanje Police Station officer-in-charge Joseph Mutupha said they will ensure that the local currency, which is the medium of exchange on the market, is protected.
He said: “Section 54 of the Reserve Bank of Malawi Act of 2018 stipulates the offences and penalties for failure to properly handle the local currency.
“Our team from the Criminal Investigation Department will arrange awareness campaigns on the same.”
Idrissa Chingaphonya, who is hired as director of ceremonies in weddings in the district, pledged to discourage patrons from trampling on banknotes.