Zimbabwe Dumps National Currency | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Zimbabwe Dumps National Currency

Posted: Jun 12, 2015 at 9:21 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Zimbabwe is phasing out its own currency, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has said, formalising a multi-currency system introduced during hyper-inflation.

Foreign currencies like the United States dollar and South African rand have been used for most transactions in the country since 2009.

Local dollars are not used except high-denomination notes sold as souvenirs.

Beginning from Monday, Zimbabweans can exchange bank accounts of up to 175 quadrillion (175,000,000,000,000,000) Zimbabwean dollars for five U.S. dollars.

Higher balances will be exchanged at a rate of Z$35 quadrillion to US$1.

The move has been “pending and long-outstanding,” the central bank governor, John Mangudya, said, quoted by Bloomberg.

“We cannot have two legal currency systems. We need to safeguard the integrity of the multiple-currency system or dollarisation in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Zimbabweans have until the end of September to exchange their local dollars. Reports say this is likely to only affect those with savings accounts.

Australian dollars, British pound, Botswana pula, Chinese yuan, Indian rupees and Japanese yen are also legal tender in the country.

The highest denomination while the Zimbabwean dollar lasted was a $100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note.

A four-year unity government, that ended in 2013 with President Robert Mugabe’s re-election, helped stabilise the economy but it still faces huge challenges.

Mugabe has always blamed the economic problems on a Western plot to oust him.