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Bank queues disappear


NORMALCY had returned at most banks in Harare yesterday with people withdrawing their cash without hiccups.


A snap survey conducted by NewsDay yesterday afternoon showed that people were withdrawing their money without hassles.

On Tuesday there were long queues at some commercial banks where civil servants, mostly the police, sought to withdraw their salaries and bonuses.

Queues had reportedly formed at some banks as early as 5am and in some instances, banks had placed a withdrawal limit of just $200 and some bank officials blamed this on the liquidity crisis the country is facing.

Mike Muza, a youth in business, told this paper yesterday that although there had been challenges at his bank, the situation had normalised.

“There were problems here and there, but all is well now. The problem is about the liquidity crunch,” Muza said.

Norest Makururu, who is into mining, said the challenges facing the banks were symptoms of the problems that the country’s economy was going through.

He said government should come in to assist banks especially now that the festive season was close.

“The shortage of cash has hit the economy hard and it’s not normal business anymore because of this reason,” Makururu said.

Samukule Nyathi said the daily withdrawal limits that the banks were putting were an inconvenience as it meant they had to spend most of their time in the queues besides incurring higher bank charges owing to numerous transactions.

“The problem should be addressed as quickly as possible. We are now losing valuable time chasing after money instead doing other things,” she said.

Most banks have been hit by severe liquidity constraints over the past few days forcing some to limit withdrawals as government paid annual bonuses for the civil service. This came against the backdrop of an underperforming economy.

Reports indicated that several commercial banks had put daily limits on withdrawals following the loss of $1 billion from the formal banking sector just before and after the July 31 elections.
The daily limits now range between $200 and $1 000, with foreign-owned banks having a higher threshold than indigenous banks.

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