ZIMBABWE is in the cusp of a violent social upheaval if government does not expeditiously solve the growing cash crisis, a peace lobby group has warned.
Source: Zim in danger of social upheaval over cash crunch – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 6, 2016
BY SILAS NKALA
Heal-Zimbabwe Trust (HZT), in a statement, said the deteriorating economic crisis exhibited through the escalating cash shortages in the country is likely to trigger a fresh wave of protests against the government.
“The cash crisis has been inflamed by the continued economic decline, which has caused untold suffering among citizens,” the organisation said.
“Heal Zimbabwe notes that for the good welfare of citizens and continued prevalence of peace, the government must swiftly move in to address the crisis.
“It is HZT’s assertion that if citizens’ concerns remain unaddressed, this is likely to trigger fresh waves of protests against the government. According to a survey carried by Heal Zimbabwe on October 4, several banks such as POSB, FBC, CABS, ZB, CBZ and Barclays were not disbursing cash on their automated teller machines (ATM’s).”
HZT added: “Long queues were a common feature outside many banks with no indications that the banks were going to give people their money. Particularly banks such as Cabs, POSB and FBC, they did not have any ATMs functioning and this resulted in long queues, as people waited patiently with the hope that they were going to get their money that remain trapped in the banks.
“Stranded banks clients queuing for a long time said if the cash situation does not improve, might be persuaded to join the intermittent protests that have become a common feature in places like Harare.”
The organisation said the announcement of the introduction of bond notes by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has “created serious panic, anxiety and uncertainty among citizens”.
“This has led to the United States dollar denominations disappearing from circulation. This has also further triggered speculation of a conspiracy by the government to capture all the US dollar denominations, so as to pave way for the planned introduction of similar bond notes denominations by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. This is despite widespread resistance against the proposed introduction of bond notes by citizens,” HZT said.
“To avert this, the government must move in swiftly to bring economic sanity by genuinely addressing citizens’ concerns against the worsening economic situation.”