It is an offence punishable by law for any person to wilfully:
- cut, tear, perforate or in any way whatsoever, mutilate Botswana currency;
- write, print, stamp or draw anything on such currency;
- attach or affix any seal or stamp on the currency without written permission of the Bank of Botswana.
For pictorial illustration of soiled and mutilated banknotes and coin, please refer to the Clean Banknotes and Coin Policy.
However, currency may be damaged or mutilated for a variety of reasons, and ensuring that these can be replaced is important for maintaining public confidence in the national currency. Therefore, the Bank of Botswana will reimburse members of the public the face value of each damaged banknote lodged with its banking halls in Gaborone and Francistown in accordance with the procedure stipulated below. This is provided that:
- there are sufficient remaining fragments, constituting more than 50 percent of a full banknote; with adequate security features to identify the mutilated banknote as legal tender;
- the mutilated banknote has at least one complete serial number; and
- there is no evidence to suggest that the banknote(s) was/were damaged as a result of some criminal activity (under the Bank of Botswana Act, the Bank of Botswana is prohibited from giving value to stolen currency).
Damaged or mutilated banknotes should be presented for replacement at:
Bank of Botswana
Gaborone or Francistown
In the event the banknotes are not exchangeable at sight, the applicant (customer) will be given O.C.6 (1981) Application for Replacement of Mutilated Notes form to complete. The application form must be filled in full as specified, and the affidavit section of the application form should show the full particulars and circumstances, which led to the damage or mutilation of the banknote(s). The affidavit must be signed by the applicant in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths.
The completed form should be submitted with the mutilated/damaged banknote(s) at the Bank as indicated above.
Successful claims are refunded the full face value of the damaged/mutilated banknote(s); hence, once a claim has been accepted by the Bank and payment effected, no further claims will be admitted in respect of any other portion of the same banknote(s).
For more information on the replacement of mutilated currency, pleased contact:
The Director, Banking and Currency Department
Bank of Botswana
Private Bag 154
Tel: (267) 3606159
Fax: (267) 3928752