Zimbabwe launches gold coins as local currency falls

STORY: Proudly on display in Zimbabwe - the country's new gold coins.

The "Mosi-oa-tunya" coin, named after the iconic Victoria Falls, is intended as a store of value to tame runaway inflation.

In June it hit almost 192% year-on-year.

That's considerably weakened the local currency and cast a shadow over President Emmerson Mnangagwa's efforts to revitalize the economy.

The first 2,000 coins were released on Monday (July 25).

Central Bank Governor John Mangudya said they can be converted into cash and traded locally and internationally.

"Local agents commenced selling the gold coin on an urgency basis at the initial price of $1,823.80 per gold coin."

But for some in the capital Harare, like Greg Chigombe, that's simply unaffordable.

"I mean for the majority of people, I think it'll be very difficult for them to get those coins."

The coin contains one troy ounce of gold and will be sold by Fidelity Gold Refinery, Aurex and local banks, according to the central bank.

Gold coins are typically used by international investors to hedge against wars as well as inflation which has been soaring in Zimbabwe.

That's piled pressure on a population already struggling with shortages and has stirred memories of the economic chaos under Robert Mugabe's nearly four decades of rule.