Friday, August 08, 2008

The new Zim currency: Petrol coupons

From Zimbabwe Today:

They are using petrol coupons and bartering things instead of using money...

"...Leading auctioneers Hammer and Tongues are putting cars and other valuable goods up for knock-down sale. And the official currency for the event is the petrol coupon....

But that auction is not the only aspect of life in Zimbabwe which is being run on the barter system..

Workers in private businesses and state departments are also being paid, at least in part, in essential food stuffs, while in their dealings with the public many companies are accepting monetary payment only in US dollars - a practice that remains illegal.

Private schools, currently sending out invoices to parents, are quoting their fees in petrol coupons. One school I know of is asking for petrol coupons to the value of a hundred litres per term. These the school authorities will exchange for hard currency on the black market.

For a while, then, the petrol coupon may seem to be helping stabilise commercial life here. But not for long. Already the value of a coupon is beginning to soar...."

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