More of the same

1 10 2008

There are more notes out; a $10000 and a $20000. I saw one of the 20’s yesterday – it was an appalling attempt to copy the “real”, i.e. not bear cheques, money already in circulation. The paper was not even security paper. It doesn’t matter that much to me except that I need to get hold of some to finish paying wages. I have been to the bank every day this week but either there were about 400 people also queing or if not there was no money anyway. The curious thing is there are lots of people in town openly trading Zim dollars for real money. Apparently they have lots too, though I have chosen to buy off a friend who is a bit more discreet. I can only assume that our esteemed Governor of the Reserve Bank, Gideon Gono, is up to the same old tricks, buying real money off the street and just printing as fast as he can. At least one of my black customers yesterday agreed and called him a thief in Shona.

Fortunately almost all of my customers are now paying me in US dollars which makes life MUCH easier! No more panicking while the money devaluates (although the money in my account is pretty much out of reach and value). So today I celebrated by doing some grocery shopping in one of the many “outlets” that have popped up in people’s garages etc. selling imported foodstuffs, alcohol and amazingly in the one I went into, lawnmowers. I treated myself to a case of 24 cans of beer (and a few other things) that at US$25 was not too expensive. Tomorrow I must go to another which is a bit better priced on other groceries.



2 responses

3 10 2008

I’ve been following your blog for a while, as well as the NY Times coverage and I wish there was one way I could help. One thing I can think of is to mail a care package but I don’t know any individuals who really need help, or how to contact them.

6 10 2008

That’s very kind of you. There is a local charity called SOAP (save old age pensioners) that is deserving but in light of the appalling mail “service” at the moment, supporting a reliable international charity (CARE International, MSF etc.) is far more likely to have the effect you are intending. They also have the experience to get the aid to where it is most deserving whilst keeping the kleptocratic fingers out of the cookie jar.

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