Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Western Union clients fail to access cash

By Andile Tshuma

Thousands of Western Union and other money transfer agencies’ clients are failing to access their foreign currency sent through the service providers.

People queue to withdraw cash from a local bank, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 15. PHILIMON BULAWAYO/REUTERS
People queue to withdraw cash from a local bank, Harare, Zimbabwe, September 15.
PHILIMON BULAWAYO/REUTERS

Money transfer agencies now have to import own banknotes following the termination of correspondent — bank arrangements between local banks and international finance institutions.

Many people have for weeks now been struggling to access money sent by relatives in the diaspora.

Some disgruntled people who spoke to the Business Chronicle said some of them were now travelling to Francistown in Botswana to access money sent by relatives.

“We have been queuing for a month until the transaction was reversed and we ended up going to Botswana. While it is costly to go to Francistown to collect money, it is better because I will be assured that I will get my money,” said Nobubelo Nkiwane.

She said she had also resorted to doing her shopping in the neighbouring country.

Mr Ben Mhaka, a Western Union client said money transfer agencies should consider offering them South African rand equivalent because they are failing to meet demand for United States Dollars.

“If the US dollars are scarce, they would rather give us rand or any money we can use that is not bond notes. We can’t be coming to queue here for weeks,” said Mr Mhaka.

Western Union, one of the biggest money agencies, has said it has now made arrangements to bring in cash directly from South Africa and should be operating normally within a few weeks. The Chronicle