LONG-forgotten Zimbabwe dollar notes are back in “circulation” in Victoria Falls, where they are being sold by curios vendors to tourists.
REPORT BY MUSA DUBE
A visit by Standardcommunity to the resort town last week revealed an interesting scenario where some foreign tourists were scrambling to buy long-discarded Zim dollar notes.
The vendors said they expected the demand for the Zim dollar to pick up in August during the United Nations World Tourism (UNWTO) general assembly.
“I have already stocked up on large amounts of Zim dollar notes ahead of the meeting, where I expect to record brisk business by selling them to visitors,” said one of the traders.
A lot of foreign tourists are expected to attend the meeting which is being co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia from August 24 to 29.
One of the traders, Jonas Mudimba said the Zim dollar was selling like hot cakes to wallet-touting tourists who wanted to show them to their friends and relatives back in their countries.
“We are making lots of money by selling Zim dollar notes to foreign tourists. They want to use them for various reasons. some keep them as a memento,” said Mudimba.
He said prices for the worthless dollars were negotiable.
“There is no fixed price. We can sell a 100 trillion dollar note for any negotiated price,” he said.
However, inquiries by Standardcommunity revealed that a $100 trillion Zimdollar note was going for between US$5 and US$50, depending on one’s marketing skills.
Tourist arrivals in the country have picked up significantly ahead of the UNWTO meeting.
One of the tourist said she was fascinated by the Zim dollar note and would want to keep it as a souvenir.
“I want to use Zimbabwe dollars as a souvenir,” said Jane Bradley from the United States, who bought several trillions of the notes.
Some of the tourists said they were buying the notes for resale back home.
“I want to sell the notes when I get back home because they are in high demand there,” said Peter Page from UK.
During the time of the country’s economic crisis inflation reached 231 million percent as the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe continued to print money.