Zimbabwe Has Only $217 Left in the Bank

Got a couple hundred bucks left in your bank account? Chances are you're better off than Zimbabwe.

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Philimon Bulawayo / REUTERS

Robert Mugabe

If you have more than $217 left in your bank account, chances are you are better off than Zimbabwe.

The African country has only $217 left in public bank accounts after paying public workers last week, according to Agence France-Presse.

“Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217(left) in government coffers,” the country’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti told journalists in the capital Harare, AFP reported. Biti also noted that some of them had better bank balances than the state.

The government warned that the lack of cash would threaten next year’s elections, which will cost $104 million, according to the Quartz.

(More: UN Appeals for $131 Million Aid for Zimbabwe)

For almost three decades until the 2008 parliamentary elections, Zimbabwe was ruled by President Robert Mugabe and his Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front. Mugabe’s decision to seize almost all white-owned commercial farms led to steep production decline in the agriculture-based economy. The country suffers from rampant inflation, which hit 231 million percent in 2008, according to the Telegraph.

Now, the Zimbabwean economy has shown signs of recovery after a coalition government between President Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was formed in 2009. The country expects to expand its economy by 5 percent this year, the Quartz noted.

But Zimbabwe’s situation is still perilous. The country’s unemployment rate is as high as 95 percent, according to the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. It is also one of the most corrupt country in the world. Transparency International, a global organization fighting against corruption, ranked the country 163 out of 174 on its 2012 transparency index.

(More: Why Not Zimbabwe? Tourism Returns to Victoria Falls)