Zimbabwe, Liberia Face Fragile Economic Situation

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The Zimbabwean economy is in ruin while those of other African nations are said to be on respiratory machine, awaiting loans and humanitarian assistance from the West.

The fragile economic situation in Zimbabwe is wobbling towards renewed pits amid clues that small United States dollar denominations are evaporating from circulation, thereby causing fear and the possibility of a crisis, according social analysts and political commentators.

The incident is prompting assumptions of a conspiracy to wash up the small denomination US dollar notes to give way for the planned inauguration of bond notes of similar denominations by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) at the end of next month.

The proposed introduction of bond notes by the Mugabe’s government has met stiffed resistance from the public.  Despite the resistance, the regime is proceeding with the introduction of the domestic currency which, it argues, is a stand-in of the US dollar — the major currency under Zimbabwe’s multiple currency regime.

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John Mangudya, the governor of the RBZ, announced few days ago that the central bank would release bond notes in $2 and $5 denominations at the end of October before eventually introducing higher value bond notes in $10 and $20 denominations. These, he said, would later be followed by $50 and $100 bond notes.

From the Southern African nation of Zimbabwe to the West African state of Liberia, inflation and capital flight are said to be causing unbearable hardship on the citizenry, especially the unemployed.  Reliable sources in the Liberian capital, Monrovia confirmed that US$100 when converted is now equivalent to about Lb$10,000 Liberian dollars.

The Liberian scenario is more pathetic because unemployment is high, and the country is lingering from political manipulation and official corruption at every level of governance. Meanwhile basic services are lacking and food insecurity appears to be very serious.

It can be recalled that the Liberian president set up a Presidential Taskforce to bring to justice past and current officials of government accused in a corrupt magnet. The process recently led to the removal of the Speaker of the House of Representative, J. Alex Tyler from the speakership.

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