Cashless pensioners run out of patience, besiege POSB

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By Costa Nkomo

HORDES of agitated pensioners and war veterans Thursday besieged the People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) Head Office in Harare demanding the release of their payments as the current cash crunch took a toll on the former workers.

The pensioners have been frequenting the banking hall to try and withdraw their pensions with no success.

They ran out of patience on Thursday and started demanding their dues from the financial institution.

“We fought for this country, but we are now being ill-treated,” said one pensioner, who identified herself as Sarudzai Mawokomatsva.

“I left my children at home without food. What do I do now without my money? I can’t even send my children to school anymore. The situation is just unbearable.

“Last month it was the same thing. If they continue treating us this way, we will invade the finance minister’s office because we want answers.”

Sixty-nine-year-old Vitalis Mhizha came from Murehwa and was among some of the desperate pensioners who travelled during the night hoping to withdraw his money.

Because of continued failure to access cash and continued price increases, 68-year-old Simon Mavaye said he has been forced to default on his medication.

“I take BP tablets but sometimes I don’t get them because I don’t have money.

“We are told that SSB (Salary Service Bureau) released our money to this bank but now they are denying us our money. I have to buy my tablets today (Thursday). So they have to give me my money.

“We have to rely on traditional healers now. We have no choice. I cannot go to a hospital when I have no capacity to pay for tablets from a pharmacy. It is very expensive for us.”

Two POSB officials who attempted to calm the situation at the Head Office’s foyer were met with insults by angry pensioners.

The pensioners also directed their anger towards Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and central bank governor, John Mangudya who they blamed for causing chaos in the economy.