RBZ freezes agents accounts
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has issued a directive ordering mobile money companies to freeze all accounts which transact over ZWL$100 000 per month. This figure translates to about US$2 000 per month using the black market rates.
The central bank is alleging that some of these accounts are being used by illegal foreign currency dealers to make illicit foreign currency transactions.
EcoCash the country’s biggest mobile money company with well over 90 percent market share has taken issue with the directive and has dragged the central bank to the High Court seeking an interdict against the directive. Econet is arguing that the decision by the central bank is ‘irrational and illegal’.
In a statement to the public, EcoCash made it clear that it was not behind the move which will result in more than 50 000 accounts being frozen. Below is the full statement from the mobile money company.
Notice to Customers & Agents
EcoCash wishes to advise that we received a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Financial Intelligence Unit of Zimbabwe to the effect that all Agents with transaction limits of over ZWL$100.000 per month should have their accounts frozen with immediate effect, except for
– Banking Institutions
– Bureaux de change
– Listed Companies (Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Listed Companies)
– International Organisations
– Microfinance Institutions
– Government and Quasi-government Institutions
This directive will impact Agent business operations as Agents will not have access to their float funds as well as liquidations.
EcoCash was not consulted on this directive. We, therefore, did not provide any input into it.
The directive will not only impact the affected Agents but also the transactions they do with over 53,000 other EcoCash Agents and consequently our 11 million customers countrywide who rely on the Agent network.
Agent-reliant transactions to be affected are;
Prepaid electricity sales,
Kindly note that all other EcoCash transactions are not affected by this directive.
We will provide you with an update on any further developments.