30 Jan 2009

Foreign currency now allowed in Zimbabwe

10:16 am on 30 January 2009

The Zimbabwean government is allowing its people to use other currencies alongside their own dollar, in an effort to stem inflation there.

Acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa made the announcement as he delivered the annual budget to parliament.

Until now, only licensed businesses could accept foreign currencies, although it was common practice.

Permitted currencies include the South African rand, the United States dollar, Botswana pula, euro, and the pound sterling among others.

The BBC reports the government has effectively admitted defeat in its battle against inflation.

Inflation is officially set at 231 million percent - leaving the Zimbabwean dollar virtually worthless. A Z$100 trillion note was recently introduced.

Last year, the Central Bank was forced to slash 10 zeros from the dollar in an effort to make the currency more manageable.