By Tendayi Madhomu
The cash crisis is worsening with some banks reportedly turning away their clients as early as 7am yesterday, advising that they had no money.
Contacted for comment, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, however, said there is no crisis and individuals should resort to plastic money.
“There is no cash crisis. The banking public should also continue to use plastic money so as to avoid the inconvenience of spending valuable time at banks,” he said.
A disgruntled senior citizen told the Daily News that he had been visiting the bank since last week without success.
Desperate clients waiting in the winding queues said the banks were allowing a maximum withdrawal of $20, an amount which they complained was too meagre.
“I have been queuing here since 4am for a mere $20. At least I am guaranteed that I will access the cash since I have been handed a card with an inscribed number,” said 69-year-old Ephraim Muvuti.
The pensioner from Waterfalls who queued outside a bank along Speke Avenue said banks are swindling troubled clients.
“I don’t think this situation is going to change soon. Banks on the other end are benefiting from this crisis; yet we are not getting any benefits from them. They are benefiting from the charges we pay every time we come here,” he said.
The clients waiting in the queue said the bank only serves 200 people per day.
Earlier, clients were witnessed being dispersed from a queue outside a bank branch just after 7am.
“Since last week the bank has been saying they have no cash; they said they had nothing and today the story has not changed,” complained one of the clients.
Many Zimbabweans had pinned their hopes for a better livelihood on the dawn of the new political dispensation, further expecting investment opportunities to open up for the country after the July harmonised elections.
At the weekend of the elections desperate cash seekers queuing at some banks were surprised to withdraw United States dollars from the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
In August this year, Mangudya told the Daily News that people should expect to withdraw more from their banks.
Zimbabwe has been battling severe cash shortages for more than a year due to worsening economic conditions which in recent years have led to massive job cuts and deepening poverty levels.
The government introduced bond notes at the end of 2016, at the height of a biting liquidity crisis which also led to severe cash shortages.
But the bond notes steadily varnished from the local market and have been awash on the black market. Daily News