Zimbabwe note launch stokes currency fears
Zimbabwe has launched its own money for the first time since the country’s dollar was abandoned seven years ago amid rampant inflation.
The bond note, which is worth one US dollar – the country’s main currency since 2009 – is raising fears of a return to the ill-fated local dollar.
The move, first announced in May, has fuelled some of the biggest protests in a decade against President Mugabe.
The government has issued the bond note to tackle a worsening cash shortage.
It hopes the cash substitute, which is legal tender in Zimbabwe but is not valid outside the country, will halt the flow of US dollars going overseas.
Initially, an amount worth $10m is being introduced into circulation in two and five dollar denominations.
Business groups have welcomed the move as a way of boosting economic growth.
However, major opposition parties, workers and civil society groups are planning further protests this week.
And in the run-up to the notes’ release, Zimbabweans queued for hours to withdraw their US dollars amid fears the bond notes would not be able to keep parity.