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As Zimbabwe Cash Crisis Bites Economist Urges Use Of Plastic Money

In this photo taken on Tuesday, May, 3, 2016, Zimbabweans wait in a long line to withdraw cash in Harare. Severe shortages of U.S dollars that are used as local currency have forced many residents into cash hunter-gatherers.

An economist said the current cash shortages bedeviling the country were getting worse by the day as people continue to face challenges when they try to withdraw money from banks and automated teller machines.

Independent economic analyst Takudzwa Chisango who is also the president of the Zimbabwe Business Coordination Campaign said the problem stems from a high externalization of money, a development that he said has contributed to the cash crisis.

“There has been encouragement from the central bank to say that people must now use plastic money, but also the use of plastic money is in line with the National Financial Inclusion Strategy which was promulgated by the central bank governor on his first half monetary policy statement in 2016,” Chisango said.

Zimbabwe has been experiencing cash shortages for months forcing banks to limit cash withdrawals, some to as little as $50.00 per day.

As the country attempted to address the current critical shortages of cash, especially the United States dollar, starting Monday some banks' ATMs started dispensing the South African Rand and the Chinese Yuan.

But sources said the country was still experiencing serious shortages of these two currencies as the banking public complained that accessing the money was not easy.

Bank queues are now the order of the day in a nation with a fast declining economy due to subdued industrial production, low exports, lack of foreign direct investment and other issues.

Interview With Takudzwa Chisango
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