March 20, 2009

Zimbabwean dollar pronounced dead

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Tendai Biti told members of parliament that the country's currency was essentially dead.

The death of the Zimbabwe dollar is a reality we have to live with, he said. Since October 2008, our national currency has become moribund, Biti said during a 2009 budget presentation, New Ziana reported Friday.

Along with his remarks, Biti announced the removal of all foreign currency surrender requirements.

Previously, Zimbabwe's central bank required currency traders to pay 5 percent of their gross earnings at the Zimbabwe dollar's exchange rate.

The inflation rate in Zimbabwe hit what has been called a hyperinflation rate, officially posted as 231 million percent, essentially wiping out the currency's value.