Instead of the banks opening up, the citizens of Zimbabwe in desperate need for the money have formed long times at the few machines dispending the cash. The country is suffering from a shortage of bank notes on top of the inflation, mass unemployment, shortage of fuel, and the shortage of basic goods.
Despite the introduction of higher denomination notes last week, the shortage of bank notes remains and continues to plague the country. On Monday, December 24, Gideon Gono, the central bank’s governor had said the banks would remain open on Christmas Day and Boxing Day to dispense the cash as the new notes failed to cut the long lines.
“I was hoping to find a shorter queue since it’s Christmas, but it seems everyone has come out,” said Tawanda Moyo, who is a teacher. She was trying to get money to buy passage home to the countryside for the holidays.
“After a year in which the struggle to survive got harder, one expected to rest through Christmas, not to be queuing for hours,” she added.
Gideon Gono blames the shortages on foreign-exchange currency dealers. He called them “cash barons.” Mr. Gono has urged all Zimbabweans to report anybody that is flouting the currency exchange laws.
Currently, the country has the highest rate of inflation in the world. Zimbabwe’s inflation rate is at 8,000%. Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe is accused by his critics of letting the economy to be ruined.
But, Mr. Mugabe remains defiant and blames the problems of the economy on a Western conspiracy to boot him from power.