The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) today introduced a new Z$50 million note to deal with rampant shortages of cash in an economy that is also grappling with the world’s highest inflation rate now standding at 165 000 percent.
from our correspondent in Harare
The new note is part of bearer cheques that were first introduced by the
central bank at the height of cash shortages about four years ago.
The Z$50 million note has started circulating after the RBZ also increased the maximum withdrawal limit for individuals to $5 billion a day. Along with the $50 million note, RBZ also injected a $25 million bill.
The introduction of the $50 million note graphically captures the depth of
Zimbabwe’s unprecedented economic crisis.
Fifty million dollars is enough to buy two loaves of the cheapest quality bread in Zimbabwe.
Between December last year and now, Zimbabwe’s reserve bank has unveiled six new bills in denominations of $250 000, $500 000, $750 000, $1 million, $5 million and $10 million bills.
The move was a stop-gap measure intended to ease crippling cash shortages that saw most Zimbabweans spending the festive period in bank queues.
Cash shortages which had disappeared in January following the introduction of the $10 million note had resurfaced over the past month as Zimbabwe’s economic crisis continued without let-up.
Zimbabweans have battled severe cash shortages over the past four years due to an economic crisis described by the World Bank as unprecedented for a country not at war.
In addition to cash shortages, Zimbabweans are also grappling with shortages of virtually every basic survival commodity, essential medicines, fuel and foreign currency.
Zimbabwe has been without a formal currency for the past five years.
MDC’s first sack
This could be the last act by RBZ boss Gideon Gono as the MDC has said once its come into power it will immediately fire him.
This time around there wasn’t any pre-warning to the public.
Inflation is now pegged at an all time high of 165 000 per cent. It has remained the world’s highest for years now.
Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, who is preparing to launch a campaign to recover lost political space to bitter rival Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC in the March 29 elections, has been accused of running down a once vibrant economy through ruinous economic policies.