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Zimbabweans get new banknotes, can only withdraw $20

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:23s - Published
Zimbabweans get new banknotes, can only withdraw $20

Zimbabweans get new banknotes, can only withdraw $20

Zimbabweans finally got access to new low-denomination currency on Tuesday that authorities hope will end chronic cash shortages, but banks maintained an existing weekly withdrawal limit of $20, frustrating many customers.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

Long lines outside banks in Zimbabwe's capital on Tuesday (November 12) as hundreds of people tried to withdraw some of the country's new banknotes.

Many aren't happy though, because in a country that's suffered a severe cash shortage, each person is only allowed about 20 U.S. dollars' worth.

The 2 and 5 Zimbabwe dollar notes and coins were scheduled to start circulating on Monday (November 11) but failed to appear on time.

It was hoped the currency would help end the crisis, but the banks are enforcing limits.

Adam Shoko stood in line but only got 150 Zimbabwe dollars, or about 10 U.S. bucks.

He was told to come back Thursday (November 14) if he wanted more.

(SOUNDBITE) (Shona) ADAM SHOKO, SAYING; "I earn 1,000 dollars but am given 150 per week and l can't withdraw my whole 1,000 dollars.

It would be better if they give us all our money." Shortages of domestic cash, foreign currency, fuel, and power are the most visible signs of Zimbabwe's worst economic crisis since 2008.

Back then, hyperinflation forced the government to ditch its currency altogether.

It left many impoverished after losing savings and pensions.

As a result, most here prefer to keep cash at home because they have little faith in the country's financial system.




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