Brighton Ncube- My Bulawayo news reporter
For how long shall Zimbabweans Suffer in this cash crisis ?for how long shall they queue for nothing? for how long shall they be given coins?for how long shall they sleep on the bank pavements hoping to get cash the next morning?What is the Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe doing to alleviate this cash crisis?
The Cash crisis that many Zimbabweans thought would be a thing of the past with the inception of the Bond note by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) earlier this year. The cash crisis seems to have deepened , and each day new cash withdrawal limits are introduced thereby affecting thousands of people. It is becoming crystal clear that the cash crunch many Zimbabweans face each day won’t be going away and, worse, the government’s normally successful strategy of turning a blind eye to national crises is failing. Zimbabwe’s crippling cash shortage has left a black hole in the financial system that’s crushing the rest of the economy.
My Bulawayo news took to the streets of Bulawayo at soem of the major banks in the city and observed how thousands of people suffer at these bank queues. Many people are sitted on the pavements while some have hope that before the day ends they will get something to take home for their families.The state of the cash crisis in the country has left one asking themeselves if all shall be well as we heard to the polls in a few months.
Old men and women are seen having their own queue on the side and the young people have their own on the other side, this is done to serve both the elderly and the young at the same time but are they being served? Well let the public express their views on this cash crisis they face each day.
“I have been here since Monday and the management came out and addressed us that they have nothing at the moment and they do not promise us anything its quite devastating what we are being put through in our native land” exclaimed one infuriated old man sitting down showing signs of fatigue and anger.
The bond notes at one time were being celebrated for holding their own against the strong US dollar, today they are nowhere to be seen only the blackmarket operators have it.The bond notes were never going to ease the cash crisis. The queues have become longer each day.During this year’s ZITF people rushed to ZITF with the mind that the banks exhibiting there would be offering cash , yes the cash was offered but it was for a limited number of people.
The cash crisis has become more defined. The bond notes have actually added to the crisis because theoretically people have money, but in essence they have nothing.” I woke up at 3am to come to the bank and queue for money but up to this time of the day i haven’t been served this does not look good, the schools have opened the children need money to go to school , how are we going to survive” alluded an angry parentat one of the local banks in Bulawayo.
Businesses have reached a sink hole , bank balances reflect a different story the money is there, but it isn’t there. Business can make payments electronically to local suppliers, but they can’t pay foreign suppliers.The cash crisis continue to deepen each day and people have lost hope.
In my quest to get the answers I recently had an interview with one of the exhibitorsat the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe stand at the just ended Zimbabwe International Trade fair (ZITF).He largely blames the public for with holding cash from the banks, he says the public is not banking money and have resorted in keeping hige sums of money at their homes and this has resulted in the huge cash crisis Zimbabweans face each day.
The blame game continues with the public being blamed for not banking money and the ublic blaming the banks and the reserve bank for their failed policies they continue to implement each day.Passing at one of the biggest banks in the city a crowd is seen gathering incircles and a voice is heard from someone preaching and someone selling vegetable graters.”People have seen an opportunity to preach and sell to the hopeless public queing outside the banks we were being given $100 few months back, now it is $50 worse in coins,yesterday a few individuals got money but we sitting here hoping to get something now hunger has begun to take its toll on us” explains an old man eating a banana.
The biggest question I ask these people is the issue of sanitation, they sleep on the bank pavements each day, spend the day outside these banks, where do they get toilets from and water from?”they are not offering us anything people help themselves around here and its not looking good we need help and i don’t know how we can be helped, we worked hard for this money and it becomes difficult for us to get it back” explains Mrs Ncube one of the people queuing outside th banks.
Supermarkerts now give $20 cashback after one has bought goods worth $10,and many have seen this as a bad move as it is not helping.Mnay people have resorted to the use of mobile money such as Ecocash which has taken the country by storm and many have seen it as the only mode of making payments, many Ecocash agents have run dry each day one does not get cash from these agents.
The centre has held things fall apart and surely the cash crisis continues to be a big worry amongst many Zimbabweans.What is the RBZ doing to reduce this cash crisis? For how long shall people live like this? The cash crisis has taken its toll on many Zimbabweans.