There was panic in Mutare on Tuesday as hordes of clients from Metropolitan Bank and the First Bank Corporation (FBC) in the eastern border city failed to get their money due to what bank officials said were cash shortages.
Restive clients spent the whole day outside the two commercial banks. Bank officials told them not to expect any cash withdrawals as they had run out of money.
Mothers with children wrapped around their backs tried, in vain the whole day, to get their money but by close of business they had retired to fate as no cash was delivered as promised from Harare.
One of the clients, Clayton Masingita of Chigodora village, situated about 50km south of Mutare was a bitter man.
Masingita told Studio 7 he spent all his money on transport fare only to be told that there was no cash in banks.
Another client, who identified himself as Charles Maingire, said he has been in Mutare since Monday and has failed to withdraw cash for the festive holidays.
Maingire plans to visit his rural home in Chiendambuya but all now looks bleak. He said he expected to withdraw his salary and buy maize seed and fertilizer for his parents as the rain season has now set in.
The situation was the same for clients with at the First Bank Corporation where long queues were the order of the day.
At other banking institutions, the situation was normal as clients were accessing their money at Automated Teller Machines or ATMs and banking halls with little hustles.
A bank official with the Metropolitan Bank in Mutare, who spoke on condition of anonymity since he had no authority to talk to the media, confirmed there is a liquidity challenge at the bank.
He, however, said plans were underway to ensure they manage to pay their clients what is due to them.
A bank teller with FBC claimed they had eventually managed to serve all clients by close of business today while at Metropolitan Bank people were still milling around the building along Herbert Chitepo Street, well after it had closed for business.