Barely four months after President Emmerson Mnangagwa won the controversial 2018 elections, Econet Wireless founder Strive Masiyiwa described the former VP as “sincere” in tackling Zimbabwe’s economic crisis and called on the West to remove sanctions against the country.
Mnangagwa was announced the winner of that election over Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance .
By Toneo Toneo
However, Masiyiwa, in an interview with the CNBC news channel at an investment conference hosted by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2018, described Mnangagwa as sincere in what he wanted to achieve.
The sole local billionaire received sharp criticisms from the opposition forces for exercising his constitutional right.
Infact, I know hundreds of pro MDC voters who were ready to give the ED administration a chance to revive and reunite Zimbabweans.
This is not the point of this article but if I am to get an opportunity to interview the telecom mogul, I would be very keen to know if he still feels the same.
Nevertheless, lest I continously regress, the question that boggles the mind is how is he feeling about the recent treatment of his cassava and Econet empire.
In May this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) described Masiyiwa’s leading mobile money platform, EcoCash, as a Ponzi scheme in court papers seeking to sustain a directive to disable its agent lines.
As if that was not enough, there was continuation of attacks on his empire ranging from transactional restrictions, suspension of agents lines among others.
Recently, police obtained a court warrant of search and seizure of financial records and subscription database of the country’s leading mobile network operator following accusations of money laundering.
The law enforcement agency wanted the telecommunications giant to disclose its customers’ details and a record of all transactions conducted within the first half of 2020 in a move aimed at exposing breach of money laundering laws of the country.
The Warrant of Search and Seizure recorded under WSS3913/20 was issued after the Criminal Investigations
Ecocash is not above the law, it must not be treated differently, if at all it is involved in any criminal activities it must be subjected under the law like any other entity.
However, exposing all the national transactions from the country’s biggest mobile money player is a strong violation of privacy.
This information can be abused, by any law officer or sister arms once they get it.
Thankfully, the high court blocked the order, stopping the search and seizure.
The charges however that are made against ecocash are rather serious and interesting.
This is financial sabotage and introducing unknown new currency is unethical and treasonous as it sounds.
Such an allegation is gross and has serious implication to the nation.
For a trader and stockbroker to be told that they are enjoying artificial value of money that originated from zero is a grossly scary allegation that speaks volumes of our economy.
It means central government is not in control of our electronic balances and any other third party has a capacity to do so.
Money supply has been recently surged by civil salary increments and inflated government procurement procedures which saw millions being wasted under the guise of COVID-19.
These are serious pressures on the fiscuss which directly drive forex rates north as many recieved inflated tenders yet they can only secure forex from the black market.
We need to see such strong efforts to manage money supply at this level.
These are just plain technological platforms that anyone must use, they can’t be criminal or criminalised, it’s tantamount to removing roads simply because they have been many car accidents or road induced deaths.
There is need to look at the underlying economical problems without us scrutinising the effects of it therefore.
Old Mutual and Ecocash are the country’s biggest financial players in Zimbabwe,yet they are currently under siege, with a possibility to crush down Zimbabwe