Cash blues threaten festive season

The availability of adequate cash for the upcoming festive season remains in doubt, as the latest central bank report indicated a further drop in disbursements from automated teller machines (ATMs).

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

In the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) latest weekly economic report ending November 24, cash disbursements dropped 19% to $3,04 million from the previous week’s $3,77 million.

“The total value of transactions processed through the National Payment Systems (NPS) stood at
$2 127,16 million during the week under analysis, up from $2 055,13 million recorded in the previous week. Transactions processed through the real time gross settlement (RTGS) system increased by 6%, to close the week under review at US$1 545,12 million,” RBZ said.

“RTGS system payments accounted for 72,64% of the total value of transactions processed through the NPS, followed by mobile 17,05%; point of sale 10,12%; ATMs 0,14%; and cheque transactions 0,05%.”

In a week-by-week review, RBZ reported that $5,5 million cash was disbursed at the ATMs, in the week ending November 3. This was followed by $3,89 million in the week ending November 10, $3,77 million in the week ending November 17 and $3,04 million in the week ending November 24.

Despite the resignation of Robert Mugabe as President and the inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa to that post, latest statistics show that cash shortages are still prevalent.

In his inauguration speech, Mnangagwa called for urgent reforms to the banking sector and promised that depositors would soon be able to withdraw their cash in full.