Harare demands foreign currency for new passports

source: ZimOnline
by Thulani Munda
Wednesday 12 December 2007

HARARE – Zimbabwean authorities have temporarily stopped accepting local currency as payment for new passports, in a bizarre twist that virtually amounts to official admission that the country’s depreciating currency is no longer worth using.

Mid-year, Harare vigorously rejected proposals by some economic experts to adopt neighbouring South Africa’s more stable rand currency as the medium of exchange in order to deal with one of the world’s worst recessions.

But the adoption this week of the US dollar by the Registrar General’s (RG) office – which officials emphasised was only temporary and meant to raise foreign currency to import production materials – is probably the first indication that Zimbabwe’s rulers may also be losing heart with a currency that is losing value faster than any other on earth.

A senior official at the RG’s office in Harare told ZimOnline yesterday that the RG Tobaiwa Mudede had directed that with immediate effect adults applying for passports would pay US$220 while minors would be required to pay US$120.

The charges have the backing of [continue reading]



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