Irate over bank cash shortage, soldier seizes computer processing unit

Financial Services // Harare, Zimbabwe

When a man at an Allied Bank branch was unable to withdraw money and clashes ensued, security personnel discharged tear gas.

“Allied Bank, owned by Transport minister Obert Mpofu, is one of the institutions facing serious cash shortages and struggling to cope with withdrawals,” New Zimbabwe reports.

The computer robber, a soldier, seized the machine in apparent frustration.

The bank’s business director, Florence Gowora, told the publication: “The incident was caused by a soldier who came to our Travel Centre branch. He wanted to withdraw cash but in the process went to the customer services counter and asked for cash.”

A customer services representative directed him to a cash withdrawals counter but he refused to listen, insisting that he wanted cash at the customer services counter, Gowora said.

“In the process he picked up a CPU (a computer central processing unit) and started to move towards the door and that’s when our security guard followed him,” she added.

A manager who tried to intervene was overpowered by the soldier and “other people who seemed to be in connivance with him.”

When a security guard realized the situation was getting out of hand, he used a spray to disperse the mob, Gowora said.

The bank’s chief executive Stephen Gwasira expressed regret, saying, “Allied Bank sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience emanating from the prevailing cash shortages and assures its valued customers that the bank is making aggressive efforts to address the liquidity constraints.”

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