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Zimbabwe Prohibits Use of Foreign Currency in Country - 2004-03-23

Zimbabwe's central bank has declared it illegal for people to use foreign currency to pay for goods and services within the country.

In a statement Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe said the Zimbabwe dollar is the only legal tender in the country.

It said it is concerned that some individuals and companies are charging their local customers for goods in a foreign currency.

The bank says the practice has become endemic especially for those trading with foreign embassies, international organizations, and non-government groups.

Zimbabwe is facing a severe shortage of cash which has caused inflation rates to soar. The crisis has led to a black market, where foreign currency, especially the U.S. dollar, can sell for many times more than the official exchange rate.