Government has suspended trade on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and mobile phone based payments as part of measures to deal with rampant illicit financial transactions.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary, Nick Mangwana said in a statement the ‘illicit activities” were sabotaging the economy.
He said the black market was being funded and fueled through the use of mobile money platforms with Ecocash being described as the “central pivot of the galloping black market exchange rate”.
“Government is in possession of impeccable intelligence which constitutes a prima facie case whereby the phone-based mobile money systems of Zimbabwe are conspiring, with the help of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, either deliberately or inadvertently, in illicit activities that are sabotaging the economy,” Mangwana said.
Government accused the telecoms firms-Econet, Telecel and NetOne- of a range of economic crimes including tax evasion, illegal “externalisation” of foreign currency and acting as banks outside the purpose for which they were originally licenced.
“This includes, in the particular case of EcoCash, holding well in excess of ZWL$8bn distributed across just 501,000 agent/merchant lines as at June 10, 2020, which is not under the scrutiny of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Financial Intelligence Unit,” Mangwana said.