Monday, February 2, 2009
Zimbabwe central bank removes 12 zeros from currency
Harare - Zimbabwe's central bank Monday knocked 12 zeros off the local currency - reducing one trillion dollars to one dollar - and introduced seven new notes as it battles to revive its battered economy. "The Central Bank unveils yet another programme through the removal of 12 zeros and the introduction of the following new currency denominations with immediate effect," said Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono. The new denominations are one, five, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 dollars. "Yesterday's trillionaires, I am sorry, will not be able to buy their favourite drink today," Gono said as he announced the latest bid to keep pace with world-record hyperinflation. The highest note previously in circulation was 10 trillion, with the central bank indicating last month that it would introduce a 100 trillion note. On Sunday, one US dollar was equal to three or four trillion Zimbabwe dollars. Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed under world-record hyperinflation that was last officially set at 231 million percent in July last year. Last week, acting finance minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that Zimbabweans can now legally use foreign currencies alongside the local dollar.