Cash Crisis Hinder Back to School Preps

Ordinary Level students from Bradley High School have time to read and chat while waiting to board the bus back to school from Harare yesterday - Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

The current cash crunch hitting Zimbabwe has severely affected parents’ back to school preparations, a snap survey by 263 Chat has revealed.

Parents said they could not access funds from the banks in time and that has resulted in them sending children back to school without adequate resources.

“We are faced with the challenge of accessing cash from banks. After countless efforts to withdraw money from banks, I could not get enough money to have a proper preparation for my child. Banks do not have adequate cash and our kids are going to have a tough time during this first term as they do not have enough resources,” said an unidentified parent accompanying her son.

Her sentiments were echoed by another parent, whose daughter is starting form one.

“Right now, my daughter does not have the adequate school uniform because I could not get cash on time. Most of these shops do not have Point Of Sale machines and they do not offer Ecocash facilities, which made it difficult for some of us to buy anything as we did not have cash to make purchases,” she said while adding that she hopes that despite the financial hiccups, her child will do well.

Another parent identified as Mr. Matika said although he could access a bit of cash from the banks, the problem is with the school as he said it was not accepting money transfers but cash payment for school fees.

“The money I withdrew from the bank is not enough for me to pay my child’s school fees and its very unfortunate that the school is not accepting Ecocash neither are they allowing us to swipe, so it’s a really tight situation for us as parents,” he said.

Some questioned the bond notes, introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as a short term measure to ease the cash crisis.

“We thought the bond notes would ease the liquidity crunch but we are yet to see their impact on the economy as we still had to queue all day long to get cash from banks. I don’t know where the money is going,  we were told $75 million had been injection into the system. We need to see the impact of these notes as soon as possible,”

The RBZ announced recently that about $75 million worth of bond notes has been released into the market as the Central bank makes stringent efforts to resuscitate the ailing economy.

With many parents failing to access cash and many schools not accepting electronic payment of school fees, it remains to be seen if children will be sent back home as has become the norm in recent past. – 263Chat

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