Zimbabwe to print substitute US dollars as cash runs out

Zimbabwe adopted the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after inflation rendered the lo
Zimbabwe adopted the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after inflation rendered the lo

HARARE: Zimbabwe announced Thursday it will introduce next month “bond notes” equivalent to the US dollar, sparking fears of a return to the hyperinflation that wrecked the economy several years ago.

The country, led by authoritarian President Robert Mugabe, adopted the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after inflation — which peaked at 231 million percent — rendered the local dollar worthless.

A man protests against government plans to introduce bond notes in Harare on August 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Zinyange Auntony)
A man protests against government plans to introduce bond notes in Harare on August 3, 2016 (AFP Photo/Zinyange Auntony)

But Zimbabwe has run out of US dollar notes in recent months, and hopes to ease the cash crunch by printing its own “bond notes” that will be valued in denominations of $2, $5, $10 and $20.

The plan immediately attracted criticism, with analysts saying the token currency would not hold its US dollar value and would be seen as a new version of the valueless local dollar.

A wave of protests has shaken Mugabe’s regime this year, with “No to bond notes” among the regular slogans expressing grievances against the government amid a worsening economic crisis.

“The bond notes will start to circulate by the end of October and will be at par with the US dollar,” Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said in Harare. READ MORE OF THIS STORY

SOURCES: News Now/AFP/  Zimbabwe Daily Times Online

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About Cholo Brooks 13171 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.