New Z$50,000 note – what’s it worth?

HARARE - Further evidence of Zimbabwe's runaway inflation came with the issue last week of the new Z$50,000 bearer cheque. The purple-coloured note has been introduced by the Reserve Bank in an attempt to reduce the amount of notes people have to carry about with them. Although some Zimbabweans welc

omed the move, they still feel it falls far short of the denominations needed to address their needs. Lionel Saungweme reporting from Bulawayo says there was general dismay as to why the Reserve Bank insisted on maintaining the bearer cheque system instead of printing real money. The current exchange rate, officially, is Z$98,000 to US$1 or Z$176,000 to -1, while on the parallel market one can expect a rate of around Z$160,000 to US$1 and between Z$250,000 and Z$280,000 to -1 – making the new note worth only a fraction of one penny. When released on to the streets last week it could buy precisely 3,6 eggs or four candles to fight the power cuts!

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