The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is feeling the heat from a collapsing economy with no liquidity yesterday played an ace on mobile money transfers when it arbitrarily banned cash in and cash out by mobile money agents in a bid to stem the spiraling forex exchange rate on the parallel market.
Spiraling exchange rate has been wreaking havoc on the economy since June when Finance minister Mthuli Ncube decreed the banning of multi-currencies and made bond note the only currency for all domestic transactions.
The rate on the popular Ecocash platform had reached 1:22 against the greenback, sending prices of basic commodities soaring beyond the reach of many.
In a statement, RBZ deputy director of Financial, Markets, and National Payment System a J Mutepfa said merchants and money payment providers were engaging in illegal activities, abusing the cash in and cash out and cash back facilities, thereby compromising the public interest objectives of national payment system in the economy.
“It has come to the attention of the reserve bank of Zimbabwe that some economic agents are engaging in illegal activities abusing the cash in, cash out and cash back facilities thereby compromising the public interest objectives of national payment system in the economy,” said Mutepfa.
The RBZ also said that economic agents are charging people high rates above the approved charges for cash in and cash out with some economic agents not banking cash sales under the disguise of cash back services.
Mutepfa further stated that charging of commissions outside the approved frame work has led to the continuous tanking of the economy, hyperinflation and skyrocketing of basic commodities.
Last week, the central bank in a bid to stem the rising parallel market rates froze bank accounts of four big companies that were allegedly feeding bondnotes on the parallel market. However, the move has been futile as the despite a lull has resurged with vengeance even when the four companies were frozen out.