Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) Director General Dr. Gift Kalisto Machengete has warned against abusing mobile money transfer platforms by unscrupulous elements in the illegal foreign currency business.
By Tongai Mwenje
Mobile money platforms particularly Econet’s Ecocash have been accused by the government of fuelling black market rates.
In July this year, Ecocash was instructed to hand over a list of its mobile money transactions and subscribers because authorities suspected it of involvement in money laundering, according to the warrant.
In its effort to combat the foreign currency exchange rate spike, the government put a raft of measures which include banning of agent lines, daily limit reduction among others.
Under the daily limit measures, transactions by all individuals were pegged at a maximum of ZW$5 000 per day.
Agent lines were permanently abolished citing that there “were no longer serving any legitimate purpose and were now being used primarily for illegal foreign exchange transactions”.
“Agent wallets are no longer serving any legitimate purpose and were now being used primarily for illegal foreign exchange transactions. Agents’ mobile money wallets are therefore abolished, with immediate effect,” RBZ governor Dr John Mangudya announced in his Monetary Policy Statement in August 2020.
In his speech on the occasion of the World Post Day Commemorations and launch of Gokwe CIC recently, the telecommunications regulator’s Director General Machengete concurred with the government’s move to reign on abusers of technology.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, let me conclude by saying that inasmuch as the diversity of technology has brought financial inclusion and convenience, I would like to warn all those unscrupulous elements who are conducting illicit activities using the various technologies available to desist from such as we will leave no stone unturned in bringing the culprits to book,” Machengete said.
He added: “We applaud Government for the various steps taken to counter these nefarious activities, which were driving up the inflation rate in the economy and thus exposing consumers to various vulnerabilities. We will continue to work hand in glove with our colleague regulator, the RBZ to ensure that there is stability in our respective sectors.”
Meanwhile, the mobile money transfer limit has been relaxed with customers now able to transact the weekly limit of ZWL$35000 per day.