The recent ban imposed on agent lines by the government has apparently affected forex dealers who have been enjoying lavish lifestyle through currency trading business via Ecocash platform.
The ban has highly affected their major source of income under an ailing economy.
The government on 21 August issued a directive to ban all agent lines and restricts mobile money wallets to one per individual.
The directive has since been implemented by mobile money operators.
“Agent wallets are no longer serving any legitimate purpose and were now being used primarily for illegal foreign exchange transactions.”
The move prompted Mobile players to close agent lines, whilst some of them had funds in which government says owners will have to reveal the source of their funds to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) before they can liquidate them.
For a money changer along Robert Mugabe street in Harare CBD who had been in the forex trading business for almost 2 years the ban has greatly affected his business.
“Government really pinned us down this time around, conducting business now is no longer the same as agent lines were my source of income and livelihood. I have been a foreign currency dealer for more than two years now, but with how things have changed and taken a different turn I am not sure if I will survive,” he said.
Another foreign currency dealer who operates along Mbuya Nehanda street shared the same sentiments.
“Since agent lines were banned my business have drastically changed, I am still coming to work but, things are no longer the same. I am losing customers everyday due to limit on transactions.”
“My own Ecocash personal line is failing to capacitate my business, with the limit on transaction amount, my whole business is comprised,” he said.
A further blow was put on money changers when government ordered a directive on transaction limits pegging the daily limit at ZWL$5000.
Owing multiple mobile money wallets was also banned further infringing money forex changers who were using multiple lines to bypass transaction limits.
The move to ban agent lines is greatly retrogressive in the advancement of using electronic money platforms, while citizens have also been feeling the heat of agent lines ban, Ecocash is suddenly becoming scarce.