16 December 2013

Zimbabwe: Angry Depositors Beat Up Mpofu Bank Staff

Photo: The Herald
Police officers assess the damage on the glass door and windows at Allied Bank in Harare.

ROWDY Allied Bank depositors on Monday assaulted workers at the Third Street Branch and vandalised property after they failed to withdraw their money, a sign of deepening cash shortages in the country.

Onlookers alleged that a group of soldiers who had been queuing to withdraw their salaries attacked the bank staff after failing to get the money and were joined by other depositors in the assault.

A security guard reportedly threw a teargas canister into the rowdy customers inside the bank which had closed doors to control the crowd, resulting in some breaking the glass doors to flee.

Management at the bank declined to comment, referring all questions to the bank's head office.

However, a bank official who declined identification because they are not authorised to speak to the press told The Source that the bank had been facing cash shortages.

"This is not something new, most branches did not have cash ready as early as 8AM and so the people should have been patient," said the official.

The bank's marketing manager, Ruth Verah said she could not immediately comment on the incident.

Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG) was rebranded Allied Bank Limited last year after an investment vehicle owned by transport minister, Obert Mpofu injected $23 million into the bank.

The attack on Allied Bank personnel follows a similar incident at Metropolitan Bank's Mutare branch, which required police intervention to rescue workers.

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