Zimbabwe’s central bank announced the demonetization of the Zimbabwe dollar will occur from June 15 until the end of September, according to China’s state-run newspaper, Xinhua.
“The banking public should visit their banks to establish the balances which were in their accounts. We have interacted with the banks and they still have all the information, which we as the Reserve Bank also authenticated,” Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya said.
The process will expunge Zimbabwean notes from the country’s banking system, which now includes a combination of US dollars, South African rands, and Botswana pulas, in an effort to move past the horrific episode of hyperinflation that occurred in 2008. While the official inflation figure during that time was recorded at 231,000,000%, others have suggested the actual inflation rate was greater than 4,000,000,000%.
Xinhua reports that any bank account holding between zero and 175 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars will receive a flat $5 payment. Meanwhile, Zimbabweans who hoarded bills at home will receive a rate of 250 trillion to $1 for their 2008-issued notes and 250 to $1 for their 2009-issued notes.
Zimbabwe’s economy fell into a hyperinflationary spell under the leadership of dictator Robert Mugabe, who has been the country’s President since 1987. Mugabe’s economic policy sent the Zimbabwean economy into a tailspin as he implemented price controls and printed endless amounts of money. He was quoted as saying, “Where money for projects has not been found, we will print it.”