Buying and Selling Half-shredded Banknotes has become the Latest Hustle

Zimbabweans are suspicious of banks and prefer to keep their money under pillows and beds. In previous crises, hyperinflation wiped out millions in savings, particularly in 2008. Now, there is a lack of favoured banknotes as they wear out faster than replacements come into circulation. Shortages have led to the government telling banks and retailers not to reject old or worn US dollars, but many defy the order. A lack of exports means fewer new notes in circulation, and Zimbabweans are re-using increasingly grubby notes. Dealers either mend them or sell them on to others who will bribe or otherwise persuade senior bank officials to exchange large quantities. A government crackdown blames traders for a plunge in the value of the Zimbabwean dollar. Money dealers say they are being scapegoated for the government’s economic failures.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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