Most Zimbabweans have more than one bank account, even under the same bank, you will find customers with two or more accounts, more generally, many people have multiple bank accounts.
Imagine if one day the reserve bank in its wisdom or lack of it thereof announces that Zimbabweans must only hold one bank account, if you don’t close accounts from other banks, the reserve bank will simply freeze all of them.
By Toneo Toneo
This is exactly what happened in the past weeks and most people did not find that bizarre or absurd.
Why on earth will any law or regulation be be enforced to make sure that Zimbabweans only have a choice of one account for a certain service provider.
The regulation was obviously targeted against Ecocash and more specifically perceived Ecocash currency traders who are using multiple accounts to avert tracking and bank limits.
The Reserve Bank Of Zimbabwe feels justfied as it came up with a measure to stop the exploding foreign currency rates and illicit trade being driven via mobile money, sounds noble but very much weird and unacceptable.
Zimbabweans who wanted to enjoy the right of different accounts for personal , business, private and any other transactions they receive or send money were denied this right to diversity because the RBZ is chasing its ghosts.
Other law abiding citizens who have never traded nor harbor interests in these illicit or illegal foreign exchange deals were slammed in their faces and forced to stay in these confines.
With the current ridiculously low daily limits and monthly limits for transactions, it would only makes sense for one to have multiple accounts to circumvent these limits.
Most Zimbabweans doing local business are still being paid in RTGS transfers and $300 USD equivalent is the current monthly maximum for individuals to transact, how is one expected to transact under such circumstances, how much money are local SMEs trading per day to have such a monthly limit.
Such regulations were driven by targeting Ecocash as a service provider which drives 90% of mobile money in Zimbabwe, and very unfortunate to make targeted regulations instead of sector based ones.
Of course Ecocash as a business was cashing in on these transactions as it charges per every transactions, they must not apologise for creating a platform that subscribers love to use, its a business model that works, rather they must be commended.
However they have been targeted and called all sorts of names for creating a platform that many Zimbabweans find intuitive and convenient to use.
There are no records, minutes of a stake holder meeting between Ecocash and RBZ, or more importantly consultations with us the subscribers on how such moves will affect us in the long run.
The bone of contention remains, how on earth was it logical for the Reserve bank to close bank accounts of only mobile money yet this practice is common and unbridled in the banking sector?
Isn’t that just ironic and attracts the contempt it deserves ?