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50 billion Zimbabwe dollars for a burger

By Chris V. Thangham     Jul 2, 2008 in Politics
The economy is getting worse in Zimbabwe and the recent one-sided election hasn’t helped a bit. The country’s bank only issues billion-dollar Zimbabwean currency notes but they are hardly worth one U.S. dollar.
Newsweek reports that Zimbabwe residents are going through severe hardships yet surviving it with humor. The reporter found a fast-food joint was selling burgers and fried chicken, and a double cheeseburger cost 50 billion Zimbabwean dollars. And if you order a full meal with fries and a Coke, it cost 80 billion Zimbabwean dollars.
The Zimbabwean dollar is taking a nose dive day by day. The current value of a 25 billion Zimbabwean dollar note is worth only one US dollar. Zimbabwe only has two bank notes in circulation: 25 billion dollar bills and 50 billion dollar bills.
Residents are only allowed to withdraw 25 billion Zimbabwean dollars per day from their bank accounts. And with that limit, it makes it extremely difficult to buy food and other items, which also sell at a very high price.
While the country is in turmoil, Mugabe is currently in Sharm el-Sheikh and attending the African Union (AU) summit with other African countries. The AU wants Mugabe and Moran Tsvangirai, opposition candidate for the president, to negotiate further to improve the political climate in Zimbabwe. The leaders in AU have no real influence in this because most of them are dictators themselves.
Morgan Tsvangirai left his self-imposed refuge at the Dutch embassy and returned to his home in Harare today. But he will have minimal impact with the country’s economy as long as Mugabe is in power.
If Mugabe still rules for another few years, we can expect a trillion dollar burger soon.
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