Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Monday, 29 September 2008 13:33 UK

Zimbabwean bank issues new notes

Zimbabwean note
Inflation in Zimbabwe is at some 11.2 million per cent

The Zimbabwean central bank has issued higher denomination banknotes in order to battle the cash shortage caused by the world's highest inflation rate.

New 10,000 and 20,000-dollar notes have been released to help Zimbabweans deal with crippling hyperinflation which is said to be at 11.2 million per cent.

The central bank has issued a slew of new notes since August when it sliced 10 noughts off the local currency.

Cash supply is so tight only Z$20,000 (US$20) can be withdrawn daily.

This has led to large queues outside banks with people hoping to be among the first to be served before the cash runs out.

It has been hoped that a power-sharing deal between President Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai might have a positive effect on the moribund economy but thus far it has failed to have any considerable effect.

The two sides are yet to agree on which party should control key ministries, such as finance, home affairs and information.

Zimbabwe once had one of Africa's most prosperous economies but its fortunes have declined during the past decade.

Now unemployment in the Southern African country is rampant and it is estimated that at least 80% of the population lives below the poverty line.

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