Harare - The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe today announced the issue of a larger notes.
The notes, which again will be "bearer cheques", with an expiry date, and will be now much larger than the usual wallet size, being 30cm X 20cm (18" X 12") in dimensions. They will be in one hundred billion, one million billion, one billion billion and one trillion billion Zimbabwe Dollar denominations. All smaller notes will expire at the end of May 2008, as inflation has made them completely worthless.
The Reserve Bank Governor said the new sizes of the notes were to accommodate all the zeros in the amounts, as there was not enough space for them to be printed and still to be readable on the old sized notes. He commented: "As these new notes have expiry dates, we are looking to recycling them, to save importation of expensive toilet paper. President Robert (Bob) Mugabes portrait will be phased out and no longer feature on the front of new notes for obvious reasons".
Commentators speculated that it was a reference to a comparison between the method of disposal and similar end use of the notes, and President Mugabe's reputation.
With the unofficial inflation rate running at over one zillion percent, 50 billion dollars will no longer buy a piece of bread, which costs about 80 billion dollars. A bunch of bananas commands a price of nearly 100 billion dollars, sparking rumours that there has been a decision at the highest levels in the Government for Zimbabwe to change its name to "The Banana Republic of ZimBobwe".
The Governor also said images of the new notes are posted on the Web to ensure innocent people did not get duped by counterfeit notes.
Commercial banks welcomed the announcement as it would mean that customers could collect their cash in wheelbarrows instead of bringing herds of donkeys into the bank. They have been stipulating that from next week only house trained donkeys will be allowed inside, and this has had a disastrous effect on business. "Asses shouldn't be allowed in banks" said one commercial bank manager, asking not to be named.
The Reserve Bank Governor declined to respond to this, saying it was not a matter of national importance. "There are many asses in Zimbabwe, why shouldn't they be in banking as well?" he said.
Customers using donkeys to transport their cash have decried the state of the roads in Zimbabwe. "They are full of potholes, and even though there are no cars due to the lack of any fuel in the country, we are losing our asses in the holes" one said. "The number of these assholes is growing every day and the President and his ZANU-PF Party Officials seem to be completely unaware of it. They are only concerned about the Run-Off Election and only travel by helicopter to campaign, so they never see all the assholes that the President and his Government has created" he said.
The official rate of inflation is 366,000 percent. Images of the new notes can be accessed by a web search for images "Banana Republic".