Riots over cash

via Riots over cash – DailyNews Live by Lloyd Mbiba and Mugove Tafirenyika 17 DECEMBER 2013

Civil servants ran amok at Allied Bank yesterday, beating up a branch manager and destroying glass doors as they demanded their money.

The chaos began shortly after 9am at Allied Bank branch along Third Street, Harare, when depositors were told that they could not get their money.

Witnesses said a group of civil servants, some in military attire who had been queuing to withdraw their salaries attacked the bank staff together with the manager after failing to get their money. They were joined by other depositors in the assault.

“When people learnt that they could not get their money they started assaulting the branch manager and bank staff,” Clifford Dube one of the depositors, said. “The whole fracas was started by soldiers who said they have been receiving $50 per day since they got paid last week and they could no longer accept that.”

A security guard, the witnesses allege, had to use pepper spray to stop the assault on the bank officials who had barricaded doors to control the crowd, resulting in some breaking the glass doors.

When the Daily News crew arrived at the bank around 10am, the glass doors were shattered, with debris all over the pavement.

Riot police closely monitored proceedings  at the bank as disgruntled depositors stood outside.

One of the bank officials, who declined to divulge his name, told depositors to go to the bank’s Robert Mugabe branch, saying they would  be able to access their cash there.

But when the Daily News crew visited this branch, scores of depositors were queuing inside the banking hall.

“I have not been able to access my last month’s salary,” said Chiyedza Chidangwara, a teacher.

“Everytime l come here I am told that I can get only get $50 or $100. I can’t believe this is happening? The banks should simply give us our money and stop this nonsense.”

Another teacher, William Mbizvo, said: “What happened to the branch manager and his staff is okay. This bank has been taking us for granted. We are struggling to get our monies which we worked for. This cannot continue to happen. We are going for the festive season and yet we cannot access our money.”

Stephen Gwasira, the bank’s chief executive officer, apologised for the mayhem at the bank.

“Allied Bank sincerely apologises to its valued customers about the unfortunate disturbance at one of its Harare branches, which resulted in a scuffle between the bank’s security and some customers,” Gwasira said.

“The incident occurred soon after opening as the tellers were preparing to start the day.

“Allied Bank sincerely apologised for the inconvenience emanating from the prevailing cash shortages, and assures its valued customers that the bank is making aggressive efforts to address the liquidity constraints. We are confident that these efforts will yield positive results.”

Allied Bank, previously Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG), rebranded  last year after Trebo and Khays, an investment vehicle owned by Transport minister, Obert Mpofu pumped $23 million into the bank.

The bank has been struggling to pay depositors.

Just last week, scores of depositors besieged the bank’s branch along Third Street, and vowed to stay put until they got their money.

In another chaotic incident yesterday, there was pandemonium at Metropolitan Bank as depositors demanded their cash.

When the Daily News arrived at the bank’s Zimre Centre branch along Nkwame Nkrumah, commotion ensued after depositors failed to access cash, with security guards manning the bank struggling to contain them.

One depositor who identified himself as Clive said the bank had not opened since morning and depositors were getting agitated.

Riot police arrived to quell the chaos and the branch manager was seen negotiating with the depositors.

A Metropolitan Bank official said for the past week, they have been managing to disburse some cash to depositors.

“It’s not easy because of the liquidity crisis but our clients are managing to make withdrawals although demand for cash is very high. But we are managing.”

Efforts to get comment from Bankers Association of Zimbabwe boss Sijabuliso Biyam and the association’s president George Guvamatanga were unsuccessful as their mobile phones went unanswered.

Alson Mfiri, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe spokesperson, had also notresponded to questions sent to him by the time of going to press.



  • comment-avatar

    Just the beginning of the end.

  • comment-avatar
    chimusoro 8 years ago

    It is “OURS”

  • comment-avatar

    Aren’t the well known looters enuk kamushinda in singapore and minister obey mpofu the owners?

  • comment-avatar

    The house of cards comes tumbling down

  • comment-avatar
    Cde Chooks 8 years ago

    They could always print more…oh, wait, they tried that before and we know where that led. Maybe they could borrow some money from the Chinese; or, perhaps, sell off more of the country’s minerals to them. But, those proceeds would not go to the banks and onward to the workers, would they?

  • comment-avatar
    Mike Nyathi 8 years ago

    Go forth people, and take back what is yours. The more of this the better.

  • comment-avatar
    Michael 8 years ago

    If the people want their money they must go to the Bank Robert Mugabe (AKA Zanu-Pf) and demand their money from these people because they are the ones who have stolen the country’s wealth. The commercial bank do not have the liquidity to be handing out cash, this is what happens when Mugabe (Zanu) steal elections, investor confidence evaporates and funds dry up.

    As Zimbabweans we are so lucky to have highly principled, caring and honorable leader like Robert Mugabe. He has done so much to improve the lives of the Zimbabwean people. NOT!!!

  • comment-avatar
    bigie 8 years ago

    well done to those people at Allied Bank yesterday, finaly zimbabweans are standing up. Its about time and hopefully just the beginning of a Zimbawe spring…..!!!! we need compleate regime change. The time is now

  • comment-avatar
    moyokumusha 8 years ago

    Merry Christmas Zimbabwe. Just think what the new year holds, oh no problems just a diversion by re-naming everything and let Sibanda reminding you of who ” the hero’s ” are, that way you will not notice ( or dare speak out against ) the true economic situation and shortage of cash and food. Another year of beatings and murders looms.

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    furedi 8 years ago

    There is plenty of cash going into the big supermarkets,bus companies etc.RBZ should have people in these places making sure that they bank their monies at least twice a day. That way the money can keep circulating.I know Smith used to do it especially to the big Indian wholesalers.Just thought it could help all the people who have to wait for their money for long hours every day.

  • comment-avatar
    Mafuta 8 years ago

    Coming soon to a house near you, eh, Bob?

  • comment-avatar
    Mafuta 8 years ago

    Here is the house that Bob built.

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    people of Zimbabwe, you should go and knock on Mugabe’s door for your money…is he not living in gloirus surrondings while you are all starving, and have no money…..he is the one you nn to confront….you all keep on voting him in….I really think you nn to take your land back from him…it is not going to get easier or better while he is in power…..BUT YOU ALL KNOW THAT RIGHT !!!!!