WASHINGTON D.C. —
Zimbabwe has a cash crisis and banks are limiting the amount of cash that people can withdraw.
That’s making it difficult for locals and business owners to pay for products imported from neighboring countries or the salaries of their employees.
This has been devastating for workers, including teachers, who got paid Tuesday but could not access cash as banks were limiting withdrawals to $50 per client.
Takavafira Zhou of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said the shortage affected teachers’ plans because they wanted to pay for their children’s school fees.
“The government should engage even the opposition to try and find a lasting solution on the cash crisis,” Zhou said.
Central bank governor John Mangudya recently told parliament that the financial services sector imported $216 million between January and April this year in a bid to ease cash shortages. But this seems to have failed to improve the situation.
Indications are that the situation could have been worsened if teachers were paid promised bonuses Tuesday. They are now set to get the delayed bonuses at the end of this month.
Some bankers said the cash crisis was due to lack of confidence in the banking sector, which has forced local people to keep money at home.
Zhou said they won’t return to work on May 3 when schools open if they don’t get bonuses.