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Zimbabwe is now exchanging 40 US cents for $100,000,000,000,000

“I used it as garden manure. Why would I have kept that dirt?”

Zimbabwe Money File photo of a woman holding a $100 trillion Zimbabwean note Source: Associated Press

ZIMBABWE’S CENTRAL BANK is taking banknotes from its old currency, in return for American dollars.

The exchange rate? $40c for $100,000,000,000,000.

That’s 40 cents, for every 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars, from the African nation’s old currency.

In 2009, Zimbabwe abandoned its currency for a system dominated by the US dollar and the South African rand after inflation hit 230,000,000% (that’s 230 million percent).

Back then, even street sellers refused to accept the $100 trillion dollar notes that were issued.

Starting on Monday, stacks of old Zimbabwean bills can be exchanged for U.S dollars. The offer is part of what the central bank says is an overdue plan to phase out the currency entirely.

ZIMBABWE MONEY A Zimbabwean man laughs while holding a crisp $10 million note, in 2008. Source: Associated Press

However, some people in the capital, said they got rid of their Zimbabwean dollars long ago.

“I used it as garden manure,” said Isaac Mutezowepasi, a street vendor. “Why would I have kept that dirt?”

Others said they still have heaps of old dollar notes at home, but won’t respond to the government offer.

“I am keeping them for my grandchildren to see. Plus I know I will get more for them in future because these Zimdollars are going to be in demand,” said Tendai Nyaundi, a graphic designer.

Others have turned to eBay to get a better deal than the astronomically bad exchange rate offered by the Central Bank.

zimdollars Source: eBay

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Zimbabwe’s finance minister: ‘The government has €161 in the bank’>

Read: Elephants were slaughtered as part of Robert Mugabe’s million dollar 91st birthday bash>

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Dan MacGuill

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