Zimbabwe’s Bank Account Makes Us All Feel Richer (except Zimbabweans…)

Zimbabwe's Bank Account

The U.S economy may have shrunk in the last quarter, but to make us all feel better, check out Zimbabwe’s bank account: $217! I’m richer than Zimbabwe!! We’re all richer than Zimbabwe!! (well maybe not all...)

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti has said that the country only had $217 left in the country’s bank account last week after paying civil servants. Although the country did receive $30m of revenue the following day, that’s pretty much the definition of cutting it close.

Biti insists that his statement was taken out on context and he was only trying to show how the country could not afford to finance upcoming elections. Apparently Zimbabwe needs nearly $200m to pay for a referendum on a new constitution, as well as the election. Still, it’s hard to take $217 out of context – poor is poor.

Biti has at least partially blamed the state of Zimbabwe’s bank account on the diamond mining companies who haven’t been paying revenues to the government, but Zimbabwe’s economy has been in shambles since President Robert Mugabe’s infamous land reform programs began in 2000. The move, which basically involved seizing white owned farms, demolished investor confidence in the country, paralysed production, prompted international sanctions and repelled tourists. Since then the country has suffered hyper inflation of 231 million percent! Yeeeikes!

Although relatively more stable now with the power sharing government established in 2008, Zimbabwe still needs to come up with some funds to finance elections this year. Biti’s plan is to approach the international community  and ask donors for cash, but I’ve got a better plan: Check Robert Mugabe’s bank account. I’m sure they’ll find more than $217

Via: The National Post

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