HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe has launched gold coins to be sold to the public in a bid to tame runaway inflation that has further eroded the country’s unstable currency.
The unprecedented move was announced Monday by the country’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, to boost confidence in the local currency.
Trust in Zimbabwe’s currency is low after people saw their savings wiped out by hyperinflation in 2008 which reached 5 billion%, according to the IMF.
With strong memories of that disastrous inflation, many Zimbabweans today prefer to scramble on the illegal market for scarce U.S. dollars to keep at home as savings or for daily transactions. Faith in Zimbabwe’s currency is already so low that many retailers don’t accept it.
The central bank disbursed 2,000 coins to commercial banks on Monday. The first batch of the coins was minted outside the country but eventually they will be produced locally, according to the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, John Mangudya.
The coins can be used for purchases in shops, depending on whether the shop has enough change, he said.