Angry bank clients cause more damage in Bulawayo

via Angry bank clients cause more damage in Bulawayo | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell  December 19, 2013

Riot police were on Thursday called out to control a crowd of angry bank clients in Bulawayo, with people still unable to access cash from their accounts.

Customers, who comprised mostly of just paid soldiers, had spent the morning queuing at the Metropolitan Bank building, trying to get money ahead of the Christmas period.

But things soon turned ugly, allegedly because there was no staff to help the crowd.

SW Radio Africa’s Bulawayo correspondent was outside the bank at the time and explained that the crowd grew more and more restless, and eventually a plate glass window at the front of the bank was smashed.

“There was no one attending to the huge crowd of customers, and they started shouting obscenities at the bank staff and getting really angry,” Saungweme explained.

After the window was broken riot police were dispatched to prevent any more disturbances.

This is the second time this week that the window at the entrance to the same bank was smashed by angry customers, who have been waiting days to withdraw their salaries.

On Monday customers, again mostly of soldiers, tried to access their money from the bank after being paid. But in the midst of a severe liquidity crisis and widespread cash shortage there was no money and they turned their anger on the bank and its staff.

“Today it seems there was some negligence on the part of the bank, because there was no staff despite the big queues. There was nobody inside the premises, so people were just left out there,” Saungweme said.

The bank has not yet responded to requests for comment.

Saungweme said that elsewhere in Bulawayo on Thursday similar incidents were unfolding, including at the FBC Building Society. A mob of customers stormed the building, breaking the electronic security door.

In recent weeks here have been reports of long queues and general discontent with banks not having the cash that its customers have desperately been trying to access.

On Monday in Harare, riot police were called in after a mob stormed the Allied Bank building in the capital and manhandled a bank manager.

The bank had to summon the riot police who dispersed the crowd by using tear gas. The attack on Allied Bank followed a similar incident at the Metropolitan Bank’s Mutare branch, which required police intervention to rescue workers. The manager there fled the office and sought refuge at the police station.

“What we are probably going to see is a worsening of the situation in the coming days, and this really doesn’t paint a good picture about Zimbabwe,” Saungweme said.



  • comment-avatar
    Peter tosh 8 years ago

    It’s good when police, soldiers and prison officers don’t get their pay. They are the worse oppressors. Let them suffer.

  • comment-avatar
    Peter tosh 8 years ago

    Where do riot police get the energy to beat up people when they also don’t access their pay? What a bunch of fools. Mugabe doesn’t care soon he will be going overseas to go and enjoy his holidays with his Disgrace while the rest of the people can’t access even $$50 from the bank to buy basics. What a joke of leaders.

  • comment-avatar
    Nyoni 8 years ago

    Makes no difference to Bob and co. Masters of their own destiny.

  • comment-avatar

    Just the harbinger of what’s to come.

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    Johnboy 8 years ago

    Just wondering if these unpaid soldiers will vote for ZANU/PF whilst Mugabe is off on another five-star holiday. Whatever your views even Ian Smith paid his soldiers, teachers and civil servants on a regular basis.

  • comment-avatar
    Rukweza 8 years ago

    President is right,the oppressers are the people from mash west,east&central who voted correct since independence,as for cops&gunners they are carrying out their duties by beating you sleeping people

  • comment-avatar
    Murimi wanhasi 8 years ago

    I guess some chaos mongers are hopin that the situation will continue to worsen…shame on you.

  • comment-avatar

    No jobs, no water, no zesa, no law and order, rampant corruption, crumbling infrastructure, now the cash has ‘disappeared’ from banks!!

    what a success this place has become!!

  • comment-avatar
    MANDELA jnr 8 years ago

    zimbabweans this is sadly the beginning..after 5 years we wud have been grilled…F@#$ zanu pf

  • comment-avatar
    OSCAR 8 years ago

    I bet you anything you like that the bank owners and staff can get their salaries. As there is no law and order, maybe it is time for the people to take the law into their hands. Take what is rightfully your hard cash, soon the Police and Army will be in the same position and will support the people.

  • comment-avatar

    give to ceasar what belongs ceasar… ipai vanhu mari dzavo so its national issue because even kuBeitbridge chakachaya futi i was told mapurisa nemasoja akato daidzirwa riot police kuti vadisperse obvious vamwe vachanwa water paxmas ipapa

  • comment-avatar
    Khaya'bonina 8 years ago

    Good signs that elections were rigged , ZANU PF government will dig holes to hide soon , i which they could start doing so now , we are the people not fools , Zimbabwe is not Animal Farm , Saddam Hussen dug himself a hole to hide but he was finally pulled out , it is coming to this stupid Napoleon who feels that he won Zimbabwe for himself in a boxing ring , people lost their lives liberating this country , it is our country but not for ZANU PF as they think .

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    msizeni silwelani 8 years ago

    2008 ghost visits Zimabweans, resilient Zimbabweans undergo yet another test, banning may soon return if burial cheque is resuscitated, find money feared Mugabe tells Chinamasa, Chinamasa threatens to reveal the whereabouts of looted diamond money if pressured, uniformed forces cause mayhem at a bank as riot police and soldiers are romped in to quell the situation, gloom holidays as cash criss persist, diaspora returnees and liquidity crunch, happy holidays fellow Zimbabweans, ours is a revolution.

    Victoria falls to be named Pophoma Falls (PF) . With a silent prefix.

    Lastly, Chin…”bajeti rakanaka zvikuru nekuti rinobata nyaya yevana bemuZim, akuna bajeti rakamboitwa rakafanana ne iri, chii chinonzi cash kriss, hero bajeti tariwona, MDC nemasanctions havanyari, zvese zvirimubajeti kana zvasangana nemanitari police, kuvha kurivesi bank aiwa vana bemuZimbabwe masanctions aya takunda.”

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    adam jones 8 years ago

    Landslide victory. Tongai ka. Masunctions? The economy should be booming following Bob’s “resounding victory”. Then you have clueless Chinamasa dreaming up stupid numbers when the banks are cash dry? Madara aya openga manje.