Zim needs billions to compensate holders of useless local currency

2011-10-08 09:35

The Zimbabwean government would need $54?billion (about R419? billion) to compensate people who lost their savings when the country abolished its own currency two years ago, a state-owned newspaper has reported.

Zimbabwe abolished the virtually worthless Zimbabwe dollar two years ago .

The Herald quoted finance minister Tendai Biti as saying the huge figure would “choke” the poverty-stricken country, which needs about $10?billion if it is to recover from a decade of economic decline.

Last year Biti allocated about $7?million to pay off some Zimbabwe dollar accounts at the United Nations, although no payments have been made so far.
Biti said the government would impose a cut-off point for compensation.

“We protect the poor people and so forth. We might come up with that (cut-off) because a lot of our people who have quintillions (of Zimbabwe dollars) and so forth do not have audit files,” Biti told the newspaper.

“If you review their tax files, they have not paid their tax.”

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