Zimbabwean dollar pronounced dead

March 20, 2009 at 1:35 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, March 20 (UPI) -- Zimbabwean Finance Minister Tendai Biti told members of Parliament the country's currency was essentially dead.

"The death of the (Zimbabwean) dollar is a reality we have to live with," he said during a 2009 budget presentation. "Since October 2008, our national currency has become moribund,"

Along with his remarks, Biti announced "the removal of all foreign currency surrender requirements," New Ziana reported Friday.

Previously, Zimbabwe's central bank required currency traders to pay 5 percent of their gross earnings at the Zimbabwe dollar's exchange rate.

Inflation in Zimbabwe hit what has been called a "hyperinflation" rate, officially posted as 231 million percent, essentially wiping out the currency's value.

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