The imminent introduction of so-called "bond notes" by the Zimbabwe government has sparked a mad rush to local banks as Zimbabweans withdraw their money, fearing hyperinflation.

The cash-strapped Zimbabwean government is this week set to introduce the widely-condemned bond notes, evoking memories of the 2009 crisis which wiped people's savings with banks following a world hyperinflation record of more than 231 million per cent.

Thousands of depositors are sleeping outside banks' automated teller machine (ATMs), waiting to withdraw their money, mostly the United States dollar.

Several people interviewed in the capital Harare and second city Bulawayo have expressed renewed fears of hyperinflation.

"We don't trust this currency, which is being imposed on us by a desperate government. We would rather sleep in these long winding queues with the view to withdraw our hard-earned cash before our savings are wiped away,"said Shorai Munenzwa of Highfields, Harare.

Mildred Chirambadare of Sunningdale, Harare, said she had been sleeping outside an ATM in the capital for two days in order to get her savings before the bond notes come into effect.

"I would rather keep my cash inside the house. In the previous hyperinflation, we were not re-imbursed for our loss," recalled Chirambadare.

Sibongile Khumalo of Lobengula in Bulawayo said bond notes were a huge risk to their investments. "Very soon, my children will be out of school if I can't act fast," said Khumalo.

Nomathemba Ncube of Matsheumhlope, also from Bulawayo, said the government had failed in its running of the economy. "Our government is wicked. Removing my savings from banks before it's too late is the way to go," added Ncube.

Government and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials said they were aware of resistance to the bond notes but insisted the notes would be introduced through gazetted statutory instruments.