(16 Aug 2009) SHOTLIST
1. Wide of minibus stop in down town Harare
2. Low angle shot of minibus
3. Minibuses moving into queue
4. Various of commuters getting into minibus
5. Minibus pulling out of stop
6. Various of minibus driver driving
7. Wad of US and Zimbabwe dollar notes being passed from back of minibus to front
8. Close of hand with one US dollar note
9. Conductor checking money
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Passenger, Name not given:
"The arrangement is sort of like an agreement between the drivers and the passengers so that when we have a (US) dollar or 10 Rands, if you pay a (US) dollar you get three (t) trillion (Zimbabwe dollars) change."
11. Man passing money through to back of minibus
12. Various of minibus on road
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Mike, Conductor:
"We use these Zimdollars here for the need of change in the Kombis (minibuses)."
14. Close of money
15. SOUNDBITE (English) Carl Mike, Conductor:
"It just assists us for change that's all. We can't buy fuel with this money, so we just keep it and use it for change, that's all"
16. Cash vendors counting notes
17. Tilt up from box full of Zimbabwe dollar notes to hands counting notes
18. SOUNDBITE (Shona) Nochance Chinya, Cash vendor:
"We provide the Zimdollar cash to the taxi people and it's helping us a lot because we are able to pay the US dollar rentals that our landlords demand from us"
19. Various of cash vendor changing money
The Zimbabwe dollar is officially dead. It was killed off in hopes of curbing record world inflation of (b) billions of percentage points, and Zimbabwe has replaced it with the US dollar and the South African rand.
Yet the old Zimdollar, as it is known, is still used, and has become another point of contention for the divided leadership of the country, now
one of the poorest in the world.
Taxi drivers in Harare said they were operating with a multi-currency system that includes US dollars, the South African Rand and the infamous trillion Zimbabwe dollar notes, which are equivalent to approximately 15 US cents.
"The arrangement is sort of like an agreement between the drivers and the passengers so that when we have a (US) dollar or 10 Rands, if you pay a (US) dollar you get three (t) trillion (Zimbabwe dollars) change," one passenger explained.
All the drivers can do with Zimdollars is give them back to other passengers in change for foreign bills.
"It just assists us for change that's all. We can't buy fuel with this money, So we just keep it and use it for change, that's all," Carl Mike, a conductor working on one of Harare's many minibuses said.
Outside the cities, where hard currency can be hard to come by, Zimbabwe dollars are used like tokens or IOU's.
Stores without small change in hard currency don't offer obsolete Zimbabwe dollars in change like the bus drivers do, but routinely provide candies and chocolate bars or coupons handwritten on check-out slips to be redeemed on future purchases.
President Robert Mugabe has called for the return of the Zimdollar as legal tender, complaining that most Zimbabweans lack the hard currency needed to buy basic goods.
The central bank under governor Gideon Gono, a Mugabe loyalist, has acknowledged printing extra local money to fund government spending that fuelled inflation.
But Finance Minister Tendai Biti, who joined the government as part of a power-sharing agreement between his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, has declared the local dollar indefinitely obsolete.
He has threatened to quit if a return to the local currency is forced upon him.
That shortage is not helped by the state of the global economy, on which Zimbabwe depends.
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