. . . as currency triggers countrywide bank siege

HARARE - Banks opened to long queues and angry customers throughout Zimbabwe yesterday after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s move to introduce bond notes in an effort to fight a crippling liquidity crunch.

Our reporters in Bulawayo, Mutare and other centres reported people queuing up in long lines outside all banks to withdraw the new currency notes.

In Bulawayo, Jeffrey Muvundusi reports that serpentine queues characterised banks for the third day running as people scrambled to withdraw the surrogate currency.

The surprisingly long queues, which emerged after the introduction of the bond notes on Monday, left many pondering whether the new promissory notes would successfully ease the liquidity crisis.

People here have resorted to waking up in the wee hours of the morning to beat the queues, as the rush for scarce money continue to bite the ever suffering Zimbabweans.

Most banks also stuck to their daily withdrawal limit of $60 in greenback, an amount that most depositors felt was too little.

Some depositors who spoke to the Daily News said they anticipated a continuation of long queues at banks as the festive season was around the corner, where people would be embarking on Christmas shopping. There were fears the shortages would steal Xmas celebrations.

Meanwhile, Bernard Chiketo reports from Mutare that long winding queues were also the order of the day at most banks in the border city.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Manicaland president Richard Chiwandire said the long queues should have been anticipated.

“There has been a big backlog as people were unable to access their money due to the liquidity crisis. The situation should improve over time,” Chiwandire said. 

“Some people are also rushing to the banks to withdraw everything they can as soon as they can because they do not have sufficient confidence in the money. As people’s confidence grows, they will be able to access their money as and when they want and the pressure should ease,” Chiwandire said.

At most banks, the queues were long and winding, with most offering the daily $100 limit, albeit with $50 being US dollars and the other half being bond notes.

Comments (1)


Dakarai - 1 December 2016

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