Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, June 16, 2003

Money illegal in Zimbabwe? Considering how worthless the currency is at this point, this law effectively bans money.

Zimbabweans struggling with hyperinflation and grubby wads of worthless banknotes learnt this week that police will now view holding large stashes of cash as a crime.

With prices rising by the day, people visit shops with extra bags to carry Zimbabwe dollar bills. After filling up their cars, drivers routinely hand over more than 4 000 individual notes, bound into heavy bundles .

The pressure created by inflation of 270% has caused a national shortage of banknotes, paralysing the shattered economy. The highest denomination bill - Z500 - is worth barely R2.50 and is virtually unobtainable.

President Robert Mugabe routinely reacts to shortages by blaming the opposition and promising tough measures against his "nefarious enemies".

Thursday's edition of the Herald warned of "sterner measures against individuals or organisations found with huge stakes [sic] of banknotes".

David Chapfika, an MP from the ruling Zanu-PF party and chairman of parliament's finance committee, told the paper: "Zimbabwe has a sophisticated banking structure . . . and there is no need for anyone to be carrying huge stakes of money."

He claimed that all money in Zimbabwe belonged to the government.

Police have begun raiding companies and stopping people at roadblocks, searching for what they describe as "unusual" amounts of cash.

< email | 6/16/2003 12:47:00 PM | link

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