Zimbabweans Hunt For US Cash As Shortages Bite

Harare – Severe shortages of US dollars that are used as local currency in Zimbabwe have forced many residents into cash hunter-gatherers.

This week, Zimbabwe’s central bank imposed measures in an attempt to ease the cash crunch, which reflects the country’s dire economic situation. The measures include reducing the amount of money that travellers can take outside the country and limiting daily cash withdrawals.

Long lines are frequent outside banks, where tellers limit daily withdrawals to $200.

Since Zimbabwe’s currency collapsed in 2009, the country has officially used nine currencies, including the US dollar, the euro, the South African rand, the Indian rupee, the British pound and the Chinese yuan.

In practice, the US dollar is the de facto official currency.