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RBZ tightens EcoCash squeeze

by Staff reporter
26 Aug 2020 at 20:35hrs | Views
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The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has directed Econet Wireless that EcoCash individual subscribers will, with immediate effect, be allowed to transact a maximum of Z$5,000 daily.

Individuals are now also limited to one EcoCash line, Econet said in a notice to customers on Wednesday citing a directive from the RBZ.

"Agents' mobile money wallets are to be abolished with immediate effect. Funds in frozen Agent lines will only be liquidated into the Agent's bank account. The liquidation will require RBZ approval on a case by case basis," Econet said.

Merchants and Billers will continue to accept EcoCash payments from customers, but again they can only liquidate funds in their wallets to their bank accounts.

The transaction limit is likely to cause a tremendous amount of inconvenience to many Zimbabweans. The collapse of the local currency means that Z$5,000 is the equivalent of about US$50 – which cannot fill up a tank an average family sedan.

The latest move comes after the government took what it said were measures to stabilise the economy after the proliferation of black market activities which resulted in soaring prices of basic commodities.

Three companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange namely; Old Mutual, Seedco Private Ltd and PPC were suspended on the bourse to prevent what Finance minister Mthuli Ncube termed "bubble trading".

Econet Wireless recently tried unsuccessfully to stop the RBZ from suspending thousands of agent lines as the central bank governor John Mangudya accused the company of running a "Ponzi scheme".

Zimbabwe is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade since President Emmerson Mnangagwa claimed a disputed election win in 2018.

Mnangagwa has accused opposition rivals and companies like Econet of "economic sabotage". His rivals say he has mismanaged the economy and clamped down on freedoms after his security forces unleashed an unprecedented crackdown on dissent.

Source - zimlive
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