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Zim Cash Shortages Continue as Banks Run Out of Money

Customers waiting for their turn to withdraw money from the Bulawayo branch of the Metropolitan Bank
Thousands of people have failed to access cash in banks owing to liquidity constraints in Zimbabwe as some schools in Plumtree on Tuesday distributed grocery vouchers to desperate teachers hard-pressed to buy Christmas goodies for their families.

Some residents of Harare, Bulawayo, Plumtree, Beitbridge and Masvingo told Studio 7 that several banks ran out of money though they were limiting cash withdrawals to between $50 and $250 per client.

They said some customers did not manage to get money from banking halls and automated teller machines at indigenous banks such as Metropolitan, Allied and Kingdom banks.

A Kingdom Bank client, Melusi Moyo who had just managed to withdraw what he called a pittance from the bank, said the situation is still chaotic in most banks, a day before Christmas.

Another bank customer, Trymore Mpofu of Plumtree, said some private schools in the area are now distributing grocery vouchers to desperate teachers while war veterans have also been left in the cold as their pensions were not deposited in their bank accounts by the government.

There was no official comment from the government on war veterans’ pensions.

John Mufukare, president of the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe, said there is a lot of confusion on cash shortages in Zimbabwe.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and government say the cash shortages are caused by liquidity challenges due to lack of foreign direct investment, the shrinking industrial base and other internal and external factors.