Paul Lewis, The Guardian
January 16, 2009
Central bank attempts to keep pace with hyper-inflation in country where prices are doubling every day
Zimbabwe has unveiled a 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar banknote, worth around $33 (Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â£22) on the black market.
The country’s central bank, which is struggling to keep up with hyper-inflation, also plans to introduce Z$10tn, Z$20tn and Z$50tn notes, state media reported.
With food and fuel in short supply, prices are doubling each day in Zimbabwe.
The Herald newspaper quoted a statement from the bank, confirming the introduction of the new notes: “In a move meant to ensure that the public has access to their money from banks, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has introduced a new family of banknotes which will gradually come into circulation, starting with the Z$10tn.”
The central bank has previously attempted to tried to keep pace with inflation by issuing banknotes, with little effect. In May last year, it released a Z$50bn banknote, then worth around 30p.
Zimbabwe is in economic and political turmoil. A cholera outbreak has claimed more than 2,000 lives and a power-sharing agreement between the MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, and the president, Robert Mugabe, agreed in September, has stalled. Tsvangirai said yesterday the pair would meet in an attempt to prevent Zimbabwe from becoming a “failed state”.
The disagreements have centred on Mugabe’s resistance to relinquish control over powerful ministries. Mugabe blames western sanctions for his country’s disastrous economy.
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