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Zimbabweans will start exchanging “quadrillions” of local dollars for a few US dollars next week as President Robert Mugabe’s government discards its virtually worthless national currency.
The southern African country started using foreign currencies including the US dollar and South African rand in 2009 after the Zimbabwean dollar was ruined by hyperinflation, which hit 500 billion per cent in 2008.
At the height of the country’s economic crisis, Zimbabweans had to carry plastic bags bulging with banknotes to buy basic goods. Prices were rising at least twice a day.
From Monday, customers who held Zimbabwean dollar accounts before March 2009 can approach their banks to convert their balance into US dollars, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya, said in a statement.
In the long run Zimbabwe will have a chance to fix some of their problems by doing this, but the immediate road will be hard.