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Amid Political Turmoil, Zimbabwe's Hyperinflation Approaches 165,000%

While Zimbabweans waited on Friday to learn the results of the presidential election, word was emerging of yet another surge in the inflation rate to nearly 165,000%

The Financial Gazette, an independent weekly newspaper, said inflation in February soared to 164,900% following January’s rate of a touch over 100,000%.

Responding to the melting-away of purchasing power, authorities this week launched a Z$50 million bearer check - a kind of central bank promissory note that stands for a local currency. Previously the highest-denomination note was for Z$10 million.

The new note is worth about US$1 at the current parallel market exchange rate.

For the time being, at least, the Z$50 million note will cover the cost of three loaves of bread - if they can be found.

Combined Harare Residents Association Information Officer Mfundo Mlilo told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the uncertainty now gripping the country as to the winner of the March 29 presidential election has pushed up goods prices in the past week as businesses scale back operations and wait.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...