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Zimbabwe police fire tear gas at bank note protest

Riot police in Zimbabwe fired tear gas and beat up opposition protesters marching Wednesday through Harare against the new “bond note” currency, an AFP reporter said.

Zimbabwe’s central bank on Monday rolled out the “bond notes” — equivalent to the US dollar — to ease critical cash shortages, despite fears of a return to the hyperinflation that wiped out many people’s savings in 2009.

About 100 activists from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the pressure group Tajamuka were chanting anti-government songs when police moved in to disperse them.

The protesters also carried placards denouncing the economic policies of President Robert Mugabe, 92, whose 36-year authoritarian rule has come under increasing public criticism this year.

“Bond notes = Toilet tissue” read one placard, as others declared “No To Bond Notes” and called Mugabe “a limping donkey”.

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