New currency regulations won’t affect tipping etiquette says ZTA

Tipping is not a commercial transaction and visitors are at liberty to tip the way they want, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has said in a wide-ranging alert to foreign visitors.

The corporate body responsible for tourism promotion and the enforcement of standards and services said it was, however, incumbent upon the recipient to ensure adherence to the foreign exchange regulations.

Tipping in Africa is not compulsory, but considered the polite thing to do.

Government on Monday outlawed USD and other foreign currencies as legal tender in Zimbabwe, a move President Emmerson Mnangagwa said was sign of the country returning to normalcy.

“The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority would like to assure all visitors to Zimbabwe that the recently promulgated Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (Legal Tender) Regulations, 2019 will not negatively affect the travelling public, specifically foreign visitors,”ZTA said in an alert issued by head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti, adding:

“The regulations are meant for any transactions carried out within Zimbabwe, where it is now illegal to use foreign in hard cash. The legal tender shall be the Zimbabwe Dollar in both cash and electronic format.”

ZTA which manages and markets Zimbabwe as a leading tourist destination in Africa and the world at large, said any freely convertible foreign currencies remain acceptable in Zimbabwe.

“Visitors may also withdraw local cash from international credit card enabled Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s) of the different banks. These will be clearly marked international and will have the logos of the accepted credit card companies,”ZTA said.

“Foreign cash may be exchanged at the bank, bureau-de-change or any other authorised foreign currency dealers at the prevailing bank rates. Visitors may then use the so acquired local currency to transact. Visitors are however encouraged to use plastic money and only exchange amounts of money in cash that they anticipate to use.

“However, visitors may convert their money back to their foreign currency subject to prevailing terms and conditions. This may include proof in the prescribed format that one changed money upon their arrival.

“Online payments and telegraphic transfers remain acceptable forms of payment in Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, ZTA dismissed reports circulating in certain sections of the social media purporting that police are authorised to stop and search people for foreign currency.