By Daniel Nemukuyu
A HARARE lawyer is suing Steward Bank Limited for economic loss after missing an investment opportunity worth $19 500 due to alleged inefficiency at the financial institution.Mr Samuel Tinashe Rusike lost a golden opportunity to buy a three-roomed cottage in Waterfalls, Harare, built on a 340 square metre stand for $5 000.
His friend, who was desperate for cash, offered to sell him the property with an actual value of $15 000 for a mere $5 000 but his mobile banking transfer failed after his funds temporarily went missing from the bank account.
His bid to grow sugar beans on a one-hectare piece of land also hit a snag after the same bank gave a false report that his account had insufficient funds to buy the seed and fertiliser.
Mr Rusike contends that he failed to purchase a property whose actual value was $15 000 and failed to realise $4 500 from the sugar beans farming as a result of an inconvenience by Steward Bank.
When all that chaos happened, Mr Rusike claims, his bank account had sufficient funds. To that end, Mr Rusike is now suing the bank for economic loss to the tune of $19 500.
He is also seeking an order for costs on a higher scale against Steward Bank. Mr Rusike holds an account with Steward Bank’s Kwame Nkrumah Avenue branch in Harare.
On January 30 this year, Mr Rusike received a text message on his phone claiming that he had made a successful payment of $55 to a merchant whose code was 260023.
Since Mr Rusike had not done any transaction from his bank account, he approached the bank for an inquiry. A bank statement was printed but it did not show such a withdrawal and it showed that his funds were sufficient and intact.
On February 3 this year, Mr Dickson Tukunyuku approached Mr Rusike with an offer of the Waterfalls cottage for $5 000. An attempt by Mr Rusike to make a part payment failed through a transfer with the system reporting that his account had insufficient funds.
As a result of the confusion, Mr Rusike lost the opportunity to invest in property.
Mr Rusike also failed to purchase 100kg sugar bean seed at OK Mbare after the bank system gave another false report that his account had no money.
The bank is yet to respond to the claim.