By Freedom Mupanedemo
Hundreds of Standard Chartered Bank clients in Kwekwe were left stranded after the bank recently closed its branch in the city.
Those intending to withdraw cash will now have to travel to either Gweru or Kadoma.
When The Herald news crew visited the branch in Kwekwe Central Business District last week, clients could be seen milling around the closed building, with security personnel having a torrid time trying to explain the new development.
A notice placed at the bank advised clients that the branch had been merged with the Gweru Branch.
“Please be advised that with effect from 1st of March 2018, Kwekwe branch will be merged with Gweru branch located at 32 Robert Mugabe Way, Gweru,” read the notice.
“What does that mean for you and your account? All accounts at Kwekwe will be relocated to Gweru branch.”
Some of the clients interviewed said they were thrown into panic mode after learning of the Kwekwe branch closure this week.
“I live in Mbizo Section 7 and I got very worried when I heard that my bank had closed the Kwekwe branch,” said Mrs Veronica Madanha. “I had to physically come to confirm this.
“The security guy is not helpful, he is just referring us to a notice at the entrance to the banking hall. What it means is that to get cash I have to travel to Gweru, it’s awkward.”
Another client, Mr Simbarashe Matende, said he had an unpleasant experience in 2008 when one of the banks he used to bank with closed.
“Until now I don’t even know what happened to my money then,” he said.
“The bank I was using closed in 2008 and I did not recover even a cent from that bank.
“So, when such things like the closure of the Standard Chartered Bank branch happen we begin to worry that the bank is maybe struggling and our money is now at risk.”
An official at Standard Chartered Gweru branch who only identified himself as Mr Jumbire declined to comment.