Govt-owned POSB withholding US dollar from pensioners

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By Clayton Shereni, Masvingo Correspondent

THE People’s Own Savings Bank (POSB) is reportedly delaying and withholding US dollar cash withdrawals, mostly for pensioners who are enduring long hours in queues trying to access their money.

Masvingo branch manager, Fungai Paguti is once again at the centre of controversy after war veterans staged a demo against her in December last year.

Paguti also stands accused of monopolising roles and not delegating duties, therefore, leading to the delay in smooth bank transactions.

She is also the one who allegedly maintains the queue despite the availability of security guards hired by the bank.

Clients who spoke to expressed their discontent with the way the manager was handling issues at the bank.

One of the pensioners, who identified himself as Muchazivepi said the delay is slowly becoming a norm every month and blamed the manager for incompetence.

“We are now getting used to being frustrated like this. You come early in the morning and spend the whole day seated on the pavement. Some of us come from rural areas and we are forced to sleep in the open because we can’t go back home without the money,” said Muchazivepi.

Grace Toendepi who had come to collect pension on behalf of her ailing mother had to go back empty-handed after the continuous delay by the bank.

“They were telling us that there is no foreign currency and that we should wait but it’s now 2pm and no meaningful action is happening. I will have to come back because I can’t be here the whole day. This system needs urgent attention because each and every month we are facing the same challenge,” said Toendepi.

When contacted for comment, Paguti did not pick up her mobile and a physical visit also failed to yield any comment as she was ‘busy’ with maintaining the queue.

Hundreds of pensioners were still seated on the pavement of Masvingo Old Post Office building waiting to get their money when visited the bank.

A group of the pensioners had to confront security guards manning the entrance demanding to see the manager after hours of no communication from the bank’s personnel.

At around 4pm, only a handful of customers had been served and the queue was still meandering for at-least 50 meters.

Pensioners are receiving monthly allowances of between US$30 and US$80 per month.