Is Zim heading to pre-2009? Cathy Buckle

via Is Zim heading to pre-2009? – DailyNews Live by Cathy Buckle 4 DECEMBER 2013

A front page newspaper photograph with the headline: “Hundreds queue outside banks for hours to make withdrawals,” sent chills down our spines.

Whether we liked it or not it was impossible to stop the automatic flashback to five years ago.

The independent media reported that banks couldn’t meet the withdrawal requirements of depositors.

As a result limits were put on the amounts of withdrawals customers could make, ranging from $200 to $1 000 dollars a day.

Suddenly, the new phrase at every turn was “liquidity crunch” which in plain English simply means shortage of money.

A senior staff member at one bank, choosing anonymity for himself and his bank, told the press that the huge queues were only the result of ATM machines being down.

“We don’t want you to write a negative story on this one because it will have a boomerang effect, “he said.

A negative story creating a boomerang effect? How insulting it is for banks to be saying this to Zimbabweans who have all lost their money repeatedly in the past decade after a series of financial crises which most of us have yet to recover from.

Repeated devaluations including the notorious “Zero to Hero” debacle turned us all into paupers.

Pensions, insurance policies and savings were lost overnight.

We arrived at banks to find our balances reduced to zero.

Even worse were the times we arrived at banks, building societies and asset management houses to find the doors locked, staff gone and our life savings non-existent.

At no time during the worst of Zimbabwe’s economic crisis did the banks protect us, their customers.

They took our deposits and pay cheques with one hand and gave nothing back in return.

They limited the amount of our own money we could withdraw so we couldn’t pay school fees, buy life-sustaining medication, get enough food despite queuing for hours at our banks.

They stopped paying us interest.

They increased the minimum balance we had to leave in our accounts. They stopped sending us monthly bank statements.

They raised ledger fees repeatedly and introduced new charges for depositing or withdrawing cash and even counting our cash.

They even charged us when we went to the counter to enquire about the balance in our accounts.

Since the dollarisation of the economy in 2009, Zimbabwe has not become a nation of savers again — as we were prior to 2000.

No one trusts the banks with their money anymore and the continual 51 percent indigenisation threats make us even more scared of leaving our money in the banks.

Despite now trading in an international currency, the banks continue to give us minimal, if any, interest.

Putting the customer first is a mentality that still hasn’t seen the light of day in Zimbabwe.

Why is it that banks, like so many of the places where we do business, still don’t appreciate that without us, their customers, they wouldn’t have jobs, or banks?

It doesn’t take a picture or story in the paper to create the ‘boomerang effect’ banks are so scared of.

There are 10 million cell phones sending countless text messages every second, not to mention the queues we are ourselves standing in or seeing with our own eyes.

And as for the “expert” on ZBC TV on Wednesday night blaming the “liquidity crunch” on sanctions: oh please, get real!

It is time for all of us to respond to this sanctions blame game every time it is used by pointing out the fact that only 10 individuals and one company (the ZDI) remain on the EU restricted measures/ targeted sanctions list.



  • comment-avatar
    Kalusha 10 years ago

    Zimbabweans are peace loving,thats why they voted zanu pf,with the kind of people we have smith could be ruling today corwards thats what we are,let president rule till death

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      If you think for a moment the majority voted for ZPF you are mistaken. The elections were rigged to the hilt. Thats why the United Nations was not invited to observe. If they thought they could win they would have even invited their worst enemy David Cameron.Zimbabweans just don’t want another Somalia.As I have said before AS SURE AS THE SUN COMES OUT SO SHALL ZIMBABWEANS BE FREE.

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    Some us don’t like it or not we look to the real cause – irresponsible journalists who caused a panic by stating that the zim dollar would return.
    The very least the irresponsible journalist could do is be honest enough to have some backbone and take the blame for the shortage of cash.
    So called journalists like Cathy Buckle should promote accountability for that journalist which would get more public support for journalists rather than target those uneducated who believe lies and propaganda.

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    Never put money in the bank. buy a safe, put it in a very difficult to get/find place and keep your US$ there out of mugabe grubby paws.

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    jongwe power 10 years ago

    Here, Cathy does make a point about our banks. Better to put your money under a mattress than in our own banks. At least you know for sure that you lode your money if a thief overturns your bed. Meanwhile, our accounts have to be “topped up” just to keep them active, while we’re forced to pay up to $5 a month, which may double with the way things are going. Not to mention that our accounts can be raided for various political reasons.

    Our banks make the forex dealers along Harare’s 5th Street look like legitimate businesspeople.

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      Priscilla 10 years ago

      Zims is f***** under the rule of Mugabe and his rogue elements!

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    passenger 23 10 years ago

    blaming journalists for cash shortages my foot.i really wonder why some people always shift the blame from the real culprits.we will keep our cash at home.every chance i get to withdraw cash i take it all out.only that its afew dollars i get as a salary.

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    Munozviitirei Zimbabwe 10 years ago

    Go to hell @kalusha

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      INJAYINJA 10 years ago

      Not until donkeys develop horns-he(Mugabe/Zanu Pf) will rule forever,yes he will, i agree with Kalusha and also as long as opposition parties are extensions of Zanu Pf in disguise no change will ever come to Zim.We are indeed sliding back to the pre-2009 period and who cares as long as Zanu pf’s grip on power still remains-that’s what counts in our country. In 2008 a golden opportunity to unseat Zanu pf was there but alas the Zanu pf extensions in disguise did a sterling job on behalf of Zanu pf.

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        There will come a time my friend. The donkeys won’t have to develop horns. To every thing…there is a season…a time to sow a time to reap. A time to cry a time to laugh…etc. etc. etc.

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    munzwa 10 years ago

    kalusha might have voted for zanu but the majority certainly did not. Tell me kalusha if you didn’t trust a shopkeeper would you go back and shop there?

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    Mr Mixed Race 10 years ago

    Some people are so naive like John above for the reasons best known to his integrity.Cathy is correct in her assessment of our banks and the stupidity being shown by some of us.Maybe these people have not traveled beyond Africa to see how democracy works.Our banks make banking as if its a crime.Why-because of our weaknesses and accepting things without questioning them.This goes beyond the banks eg our pricing is unfairly done because markups are well beyond 100% in most shops.We have no genuine business people but crooks.WHY? The answer is simple-because we like to be cheated silently.

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    W e rich experience w have of 2007/8 we have who wld want to risk his money agn? Chakachenjedza ndochakatanga. If ppl like John above genuinely believe in what he is saying then thank God go ahead and deposit yo money oichengeterako. Isu vamwe takaona Gono achiba mari dzevanhu nemacompanies takutya kuti zvingapamhwe futi. Of great interest u seem to agree e prospects of e Zim$ being reintroduced is very scaring indeed now ask yoself y is it so. What led to that and pane chachinja here

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    Boss MyAss 10 years ago