The Reserve Bank raised the daily withdrawal limit in Zimbabwe, prompting tens of thousands to line up in desperate hopes of getting enough cash for groceries before spiraling inflation eats away more of the currency’s value.
New rules went into effect the day President Robert Mugabe returned from the UN allowing withdrawals of up to ZIM$20 000 ($35). The old ZIM$1 000 limit was barely enough to buy a newspaper.
The limit and the fact that Zimbabwe has the world’s highest inflation rate, officially 11-million percent, unofficially much higher, has meant long lines at banks most days.
But Monday was extraordinary. Mothers with babies strapped to their backs arrived at bank doors at dawn. Police vainly tried to stop the crowds from blocking traffic, but there appeared to be more police and uniformed soldiers in line to get cash than on duty.
On Saturday, central bank governor Gideon Gono vowed to keep printing money, a practice critics say has fueled inflation. – zimbabwemetro.com