Zimbabwe’s new president may not be able to fix the economy

Green, but not backed

UNTIL recently Priscilla Magaya was an administrator in a printing firm in Harare, Zimbabwe’s sunny capital. Today she spends her days on the side of a street, clutching a thick bundle of different banknotes. A few weeks ago, after two years of not paying her wages, her employer went bust. Ms Magaya turned to money trading, swapping real American dollars for Zimbabwe’s confusing profusion of local paper. For $100 in actual greenbacks, buyers get $120 in bright green “bond notes”—a Zimbabwean currency introduced in 2016 that is meant to be pegged to the dollar—or $140 in mobile money, which is also meant to be on a par with real dollars. Her earnings are “not something that I can survive on”, she says, but she has no other option.

Two years ago money in Zimbabwe was simple: everyone used the American dollar, introduced in 2009 after hyperinflation destroyed the Zimbabwean version. Since then, however, banks have run out of real dollars because…

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