Zimbabwe to allow multiple currencies

HARARE - Zimbabweans will be allowed to conduct business in other currencies, alongside the Zimbabwean dollar, in an attempt to tackle soaring inflation, acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Thursday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 29 Jan 2009, 9:34 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:35 AM

The collapse of Zimbabwe’s currency is a sign of the deepening economic crisis, which shows no sign of ending without concrete moves by President Robert Mugabe and the opposition to implement a power-sharing agreement.

“In the hyper-inflationary environment characterising the economy, our people are now using multiple currencies alongside the Zimbabwean dollar. These include the (South African) rand, U.S. dollar, Botswana pula, euro and British pound among others,” Chinamasa said in a budget speech.

The humanitarian crisis is worsening too. More than half of Zimbabwe’s population will need food aid in February and March, the World Food Programme said on Thursday.

The WFP said in a statement that it aims to assist 5.1 million people in February while a group of U.S.-sponsored aid organisations plans to assist 1.8 million more people in the southern African country.

“The overall total for people in need of assistance in February and March is around 7 million,” the WFP said.

Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown has been worsened by a cholera outbreak which has killed nearly 3,100 people and infected 58,993 across the country—the worst death toll in Africa from an outbreak of the normally preventable disease in 15 years.

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