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Ecocash Challenges RBZ Suspension

The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe on Monday suspended and froze mobile transactions on EcoCash accounts and NetOne One Money accounts of agents with a monthly transactional threshold of $100 000 after transactions totaling $75 million were recorded during the covid period.

EcoCash has challenged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) through the High Court to stop suspending mobile money agents conducting financial transactions and restore full functionality to those affected.

The Chief Executive Officer of EcoCash’s parent, Cassava Smartech, Mr Eddie Chibi, argued in his affadavit that EcoCash has 11 million subscribers and benefits people from all parts of the country.

“Because of the legality of the suspension is challenged, a delay in dealing with the matter will result in prejudice not only to the applicant but also ordinary members of the public,” said Mr Chibi.

Mr Chibi further argued that EcoCash agents were not heard before the directive was issued in breach of provisions of the Administrative Justice  Act.

The Act requires that an administrative authority acts lawfully, reasonably and in a fair manner, which does not violate the rights of those affected by the decision.

The central bank strongly suspects that these subscribers are driving foreign currency rates and wants to ensure that people or businesses with the agent lines are bona fide entities and they have to prove the source of their funds.

The FIU, which tracks financial transactions in this country, wants mobile operators to enhance their Know Your Customer framework after establishing that there is weak enforcement of this rule given the amount of suspicious transactions.

In an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court on Wednesday, EcoCash, represented by Mtetwa and Nyambirai law firm, wants an interdict prohibiting the enforcement of the RBZ’s directive issued on Monday.

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