Riot police on Tuesday rescued the management of troubled AfrAsia Bank’s Mutare branch after some civil servants turned rowdy when they failed to access their salaries, police said, a sign of the deepening crisis at the bank.
The bank is in the throes of a cash squeeze that has forced it to limit withdrawal amounts to between $50 and $100 per day, although weekend reports suggested it could get an injection of $10 million from its parent company, AfrAsia Holdings Mauritius.
Manicaland police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Enock Chishiri told The Source on Wednesday that the disturbances have become a regular occurrence at the bank.
“The bank management has been engaging the services of police officers every pay date as they are having challenges with depositors almost on a monthly basis,” he said.
“So they asked for officers from the central office to keep a calm environment as we understand that some depositors were not happy as the bank is said to be giving limited cash withdrawals.”
Angry depositors, many of whom identified themselves as teachers, turned aggressive after they discovered that their salaries were not reflecting in their accounts although their colleagues had received theirs.
“I was shocked to note that my salary was not reflecting in my account yet my fellow (teachers) accessed theirs. We need answers from the bank (manager).
“Some of us have travelled long distances and don’t have bus fare to travel back to our schools since we anticipated receiving our salaries,” said a teacher from Buhera.
The incident follows similar occurrences at Metbank’s Mutare branch and Allied Bank in Harare last year which required police intervention to rescue workers.