The Zim government has suspended Ecocash and all other Mobile Money Transfer platforms as well as the Stock Exchange in a desperate bid to tame volatile US dollar exchange rates which continue to gallop beyond those pegged by authorities.
The suspension, effective immediately, will see Ecocash, One Money, Telecash and MyCash Mobile money platforms cease transactions.
In a statement Friday, Information Ministry permanent secretary Nick Mangwana singled out privately owned Econet subsidiary, Ecocash as the platform on which criminals piggy-backed to perform acts of criminality running into millions.
“Ecocash, however, which controls nearly 94% of all mobile money transactions, is the centre pivot of this problem and its resultant impact on Zimbabwe’s economy,” Mangwana said.
He added, “The measures will also include the suspension of all trading on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.”
The sabotage, according to government, is being done by “wolves in sheep skins amongst the population”.
Mangwana said government was well informed about the country’s phone based mobile money systems which were conspiring, allegedly with the help of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, to perform illicit activities that were sabotaging the economy.
“Illegal externalization of foreign currency through transfer mispricing, acting as bank outside the purpose for which they were originally licensed, as non-banking financial institutions, this includes in the particular case of Ecocash, holding well in excess of ZW$8 billion distributed across just over 50 100 agent merchant lines as at 10 June 2020whuch is not under the scrutiny of the Financial Intelligence Unit.
“Fraudulently creating and issuing non-attributable and non-auditable agent cellphone lines accounts.
“Hiding irreconcilable accounts in suspense accounts which hold huge credit balances for unjustifiably long periods.
“Ecocash in particular, is acting as the centre pivot of the galloping black market foreign exchange rate and therefore, fueling the incessant price hikes of goods and services that are bedevilling the economy and causing untold hardship to the people of Zimbabwe.”
Mangwana added, “In this regard, it has been conspiring with big merchants to act as their conduit through which they transfer hundreds of millions of dollars per day to runners on the streets who then buy US dollars on their behalf.
“Rampant, often arrogant, non-compliance with directives issued by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Financial Intelligence Unit.
“Facilitating illicit trade in notes and coins, at contrived rates of between 30% and 50%, thus causing artificial shortages of the same within the banking system.
“Criminally allowing agent lines that were banned by the RBZ to continue trading illegally and using bulk airtime sales at discounted prices which are cross rated to phantom USD exchange rates which further distort the Zimbabwe market and deliberately mop up US Dollars from the black market, thus forcing up the exchange rate in a manner that has hitherto been difficulty to explain for the monetary authorities.”
The Information Secretary went on to say that the impact is exacerbated by the existence of fake counters on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange which are epitomised by the so-called Old Mutual implied Rate (OMIR).
“This, in turn, results in four or more US:ZWL parallel market exchange rates operating in the market,” he said.
“At any time, therefore there is the official rate, an Ecocash rate, OneMoney rate and the OMIR among others.
“As the RBZ governor aptly observed recently there are multiple contrived phantom exchange rates in use in the Zimbabwe Economy which conspires to defeat fiscal policy.”
Makhadzi set to perform in Harare tonight
Popular South African musician, Makhadzi, real name Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhona is set to perform in Harare for the first time.
Makhadzi’s performance comes a day after the government announced further relaxation of lockdown regulations allowing bars and nightclubs to re-open to vaccinated patrons only.
Makhadzi has been trending on social media in the past few days after pictures of her dark inner thighs were shared online.
A photographer shared the pictures after the Matorokisi hitmaker’s star performance in Malawi over the weekend.
She was forced to apoligise to her fans after trolls used the pictures to bully her.
Makhadzi’s performance in Harare can be expected to be lit as it will be one of the first shows after the easing of the lockdown.
On social media, hyped Zimbabwean fans could not hide their joy of finally having to witness the energetic performer live.
IZIM was not able to obtain the details of the venue of her show.
Zimbwabwe And Ghana In Double Header Swim Or Sink Battle
The warriors World Cup 2022 campaign reaches a climax this coming weekend with back to back clashes with Ghana.
Zimbabwe is playing catch up having managed only a single point in a draw against South Africa. The warriors went on to lose 1-0 to Ethiopia leaving them with 1 from a possible 6 points.
Ghana scrapped past Ethiopia in their first game in Cape Coast last month and despite collecting three points courtesy of a 1-0 triumph, football analysts in the West African country were critical of the team’s performance nonetheless.
In their second game, the Black Stars lost 1-0 to Bafana Bafana.
Interestingly, both Ghana and Zimbabwe, with new coaches Milovan Rajevac and Norman Mapeza respectively, do battle in a sink or swim double-header header next week.
The first match is on Saturday at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana, before the two sides clash at the National Sports Stadium three days later.
The question of everyone’s lips, with less than a week before battle lines drawn in Cape Coast is; can Mapeza’s Warriors get the job done and revive their World Cup qualifying campaign?
Qualification for the global showpiece has eluded this football-crazy nation for 41 years and defeats in both games next week will not even pave way for the over-used and somewhat meaningless cliché “so near and yet so far.”
These are the two games which are likely to decide whether or not qualification for the World Cup won’t be, just like for the past four decades, just a pipe-dream.
Historically though, Ghana have always had an upper-hand in the fixture, which justifies the Warriors’ underdog tag.
A well-oiled Ghana machine, on its way to the FIFA World Cup in 2006 in Germany, was stopped in its tracks by Charles Mhlauri’s Warriors at the AFCON finals in Egypt, when Cephas Chimedza and Benjani scored in a 2-1 victory. Regardless of how impressive and monumental that victory was, it is the only time in history, Zimbabwe has defeated the Black Stars.
The two sides first met in an international friendly in 1996, which ended in a 1-1 stalemate, before they met again a year later, on January 26 in AFCON qualifier, which ended goalless.
They met again in July 1997, in an AFCON qualifier, which the Black Stars triumphed at home 2-1.
Ghana thumped Zimbabwe in a AFCON qualifier in October 2000, 4-1 before beating them again at the National Sports Stadium in June 2001, 2-1.
Put simply, the Warriors have beaten Ghana only once in six meetings, that famous win at the AFCON finals in 2006, which was the last meeting between the two sides.
Jikwa Refuses To Share Cell With Other Men
Bujy Jikwa, accused of hitting Boity Thulo with a beer glass at a hotel in Waterfall, allegedly caused a scene at Midrand Police Station refusing to share a cell with male detainees.
The former Metro FM deejay Bujy Bikwa is charged with assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm following the attack on rapper Thulo.
The police eventually put Bujy in a single cell since they could also not let him share a cell with females.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Bikwa appeared at the Midrand Magistrate’s Court on Friday and was denied bail.
“The case was postponed to Wednesday. The accused is in custody and was charged with assault,” Mjonondwane said.
Bikwa allegedly threw a bottle of alcohol at Thulo and cut her on the face during an argument at the Courtyard Hotel while they were out with friends.
Thulo allegedly sustained serious injuries and had to be taken to hospital in an ambulance for treatment.
Police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said Thulo had opened a case at Midrand Police Station on the night of the incident.
Yesterday morning, Bikwa’s phone was answered by a woman who declined to comment.
Thulo confirmed the incident in a statement released yesterday:
It is with deep sadness to state that I was indeed an unfortunate victim of a vicious assault and that I have since opened a case against the culprit, which I am following with keen interest. I do not wish to comment on this matter any further. I respectfully request some space as I try to find a way to heal both physically and emotionally from this traumatic experience. I have faith in our criminal justice system and implore everyone to stand firmly against gender-based violence.
“They were busy drinking and talking about sangomas and ancestors before an argument started. I am not sure who started it, but they were screaming at each other and swearing before they started fighting,” one eyewitness said.
Another said: “Bujy really beat that girl up badly … Boity was wearing a white shirt and her shirt was red with blood stains. Her face was also bad.”