Zimbabwe launched a new currency on Monday, issuing $10 million of ‘bond notes’ that the authorities hope will ease a severe cash crunch but which critics fear will erase their savings less than a decade after a hyperinflationary economic meltdown. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) first announced the plan in May to address chronic cash shortages and

supplement the dwindling U.S. dollars that have been in circulation for the past seven years. However, the announcement triggered a run on the banks as Zimbabweans tried to empty their accounts of hard currency. The notes have also fueled some of the largest protests in a decade against President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s leader since independence 36 years ago, and led to suggestions they could cause the 92-year-old’s downfall. READ MORE