Broke Civil Servants Scramble For Cash

The Minister of Finance, Tendai Biti, last month told the nation that despite being broke, the Zimbabwe Government would honour its huge civil service including retired goons.

There were long queues reminiscent of the days of the worthless Zimbabwe dollar as workers began lining up for their money from as early as 5 am on Tuesday in Harare.

Radio VOP conducted a survey around major banking groups in the capital and witnessed very long queues at the Central Africa Building Society (CABS), First Banking Corporation Limited (FirstBank), ZB Bank Limited, the People’s Bank (POSB) and CBZ Bank Limited (CBZ).

There were, however, no queues at the foreign owned banks such as the Standard Chartered Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (Stanchart), Stanbic and Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (Barclays).

Zimbabwean civil servants earn an average of about U$160 monthly and usually withdraw all of it at one go especially after pay day leaving no cash in their accounts.

“I received US$1 200 today,” said a civil servant in an interview with Radio VOP shortly after she had withdrawn her much needed cash. “I earn US$600 monthly but this month I got a bonus. I have US$1 200 in my wallet.”

Others interviewed said they were very happy to get their monthly bonus this year coming at a time when they were seriously broke.

Meanwhile, clothes and food stuffs in the capital city have skyrocketed at an average of about US$2 an item much to the amazement and dismay from the locals here.