Car trunks key for Zimbabwean ‘millionaires’

HARARE, July 16, 2006 (AFP) – Becoming a millionaire in Zimbabwe is easy these days, but wallets and purses have given way to car trunks and suitcases as the crucial accessory for carrying wads of nearly worthless cash.
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As the southern African country battles hyper-inflation and grinding fuel and foreign exchange shortages amid a seven-year economic slump, ordinary citizens have resigned themselves to wry humour to deal with the situation.

“In Zimbabwe, nothing goes down except the country,” is a saying often heard on the streets of the capital as inflation hovers around 1,200 percent, pushing basic commodities beyond the reach of many.

Despite a dip in inflation from 1,193 percent to 1,184 percent, a figure experts say is the highest in the world outside of a war zone, consumer prices continue to climb.

Zimbabwe’s largest financial note is the green 100,000-dollar bearer cheque, but at the equivalent value of about one US dollar or 78 euro cents it’s not enough to buy a loaf of bread, let alone a shopping basket.

Basic foodstuffs and essential drugs are in short supply, and electricity and water have also joined the long queue of hard-to-find items.

The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said recent

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