DStv subs & card payments are 2nd highest driver of forex use for Zimbabwe, trend is a cause of concern for RBZ

Nigel Gambanga Avatar
Dstv Zimbabwe, MultiChoice, Pay TV

According to the 2017 Monetary Policy presented by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, DStv subscriptions and card payments were the second highest driver of foreign currency spending through Nostro accounts.

Between July and December 2016, US$206.66 million was used for payments for satellite TV service DStv and card transactions, a total only surpassed by the US$331 million spent on fuel.

During this period Zimbabwean foreign currency payments for DStv and card transactions exceeded other transactions such as the importation of raw materials for the manufacture of products like cooking oil, maize imports and the allocation for machinery and telecoms equipment.

Does this mean DStv payments will be controlled or banned?

In the monetary policy statement, the RBZ pointed out how this is not sustainable calling the higher spend on DStv subscriptions instead of raw materials to produce goods like cooking oil counterproductive and illogical.

The RBZ’s solution has been to direct all banks to ensure that the international card switches facilitate local settlement of local transactions in Zimbabwe. The central bank has also said that it will introduce measures to stick to its import priority list which it released in 2016 as a guide to which areas were to get preference for forex payments. On the

The central bank has also said that it will introduce measures to stick to its import priority list which it released in 2016 as a guide to which areas were to get preference for forex payments. On the list, DStv and card payments had a lower priority than raw material importation.

The RBZ’s statement on the new measures reads,

The Bank shall quickly move to redress this market failure through measures that compel banks to adhere to the import priority list and to mitigate against institutional indiscipline such as the use of more foreign exchange for personal card and DSTV transactions ahead of raw materials to produce cooking oil, for example. Financial institutions should do some soul searching and rethink on how they add value to the economy under the New Normal.

This doesn’t say how DStv or card payments will be affected exactly (they aren’t being banned) but it does suggest that unless certain arrangements are made by such service providers such transactions might not be as swiftly handled as they aren’t high on the priority list.


  1. Tich Morange

    And yet they banned Kwese TV…our government really has no clue

  2. Agreed

    No point in wasting forex with TV the is for sure. Less on TV more productive

    1. Dead ZANU management

      What production?
      U r retarded
      People should spend their forex in any form they want
      Mismanagement of the economy by ZANU pf is the reason
      People ran away from 100% local content introduced by Jonathan Moyo over a decade ago
      2. They banned kwese TV a platform which would have curbed this problem
      These ZANU pf idiots in management must have went to night school because they make very dark decisions
      They play politics too much at the expense of the ordinary citizenz

    2. Mercy

      Bring back the billions !!! and Investment. Do you not know why there is no Forex? How can ZIMRA generate money when 99% of the Economy has collapsed because of Politics. Please think.

  3. Jack

    Zimbabweans please stop paying Dstv, let’s save the country forex by all buying little oil presses and making cooking oil at home. This is just as exciting as watching Champions Leaguev soccer.

    1. Taurus

      Their point exactly

  4. G

    Its our money
    The government cannot tell us how to spend our money

  5. Taa

    with these stats, I wonder who is still watching ZTV…..

  6. mazonyanya

    I was quite taken aback when I saw the figures. I knew DSTV was coining it in Zim but DAMN – that’s like half a billion a year for watching TV – ma zimbah lets be serious! Come on now! All this money going to one of apartheid’s major funders back in the day (google it) and it also slows the growth of our own local industry while eroding our own culture and values as well – after seeing these figures I wouldn’t be too opposed to a ban here to be honest. As a nation WHAT ARE WE GAINING for that half billion per year??? We can’t always respond saying “heeeh it was the govt that mismanaged broke the economy what what” when confronted with our own stupidity. this is too much – even if the economy was firing on all cylinders this would be too much!

    1. Dead ZANU management

      This is majorly the govt’s fault I need my entertainment period. You can’t say the people are idiots when it is well documented that ZANU pf killed entertainment in zimbabwe through their propaganda handingarambe ndakashinga ndichida kuona bhora neCNN ZANU pf antics drove the people to DStv namely Jonathan Moyo with the approval of Mugabe I wil spend my money as I please
      Unoda kuti ndione Hondo yeMinda paZTuzvi becoz the government has double standards yekuti itai maCompany then when kwese TV springs up they say getaway
      This report is a direct effect of ZANU pf policies no middleman
      They should have reported that. :Due to our need to squash the opposition party in the mid 2000s through media we drove all Zimbabwean audiences to the need to access Dstv and alas we ddnt know a decade later this would drive most of the foreign currency out of the country
      Iye zvino hazvishamise cooking oil yacho yaaichemera mangudya kuti tigadzire company yacho ndeyake
      Simply using state mechanisms to fight competition
      We should just boycott zanu pf indirectly made products
      This is not a problem caused by the people but direct mismanagement of ZANU pf ukanyima mwana zvinonaka pamba pako anonoKwata …ukazvibata ukamurova anongotsvaga kunoKwata kumba kumwe kwaasingabatwe

    2. opolopo

      ukwane hantka

    3. dash

      Do u like watching talking farming at 7pm on a saturday night or a test match the whole of sunday?

    4. Anony

      And yet your comrades block kwese? The reason people buy foreign services is because YOUR govt has made it impossible for anyone to provide a decent local service. You think that DSTV figure is bad, go look at what your govt is spending on German sports cars, hotel bills, flights.. Unbelievable that you defend those tsotsis.

  7. Runyararo

    Rbz shud pressure Gvt to open up Tv airwaves, which will create variety, employment and pple will switch to local stations thus reduce forex spending. This is a win win!!

  8. Macd Chip

    You banned KweseTV, was it because of The 7th Column, Charamba can answer that.

    Mangudya is not telling the truth, where are the figures which shows how much Zanu Pf have spend on cars. Zanu Pf is not buying local cars, so how much Mangudya?

    Zanu Pf have bought 365 cars, how much is that:


    RBZ must focus on things that matters

    1. Tongo Tongo

      True. How much has bob spend on foreign trips?

  9. Farai

    One of the benefits of being on the ZBC board is a free DSTV subscription!!!!!!!!! What does that say about local content? The fact that RBZ is trying to step in just proves that money in the bank is not USD!

  10. jomorolo

    from trying to tax basic commodities now shifting focus to entertainmet. please be advised that tv is the only thing keeping us quiet from all the drama and hurts we going thru in this joint

  11. Rascal

    What is the split between DSTV and card transactions? I have reason to believe that card transactions are higher, some people were abusing the card facilities even buying vehicles. At US$91 for the most expensive bouquet a million subscriptions would still only be $91 million per month. That figure needs to be broken down further.

  12. Sagitarr

    Because there is noone with a vision in Zanu PF, we are losing over $200m monthly. Victoria Chitepo prevented Multichoice from opening in Zimbabwe ages ago. This would be money coming into Zimbabwe right now (not going out) only if she, her colleagues or the president had a VISION. They don’t.

  13. Annony Muos

    Surely it will not be suprissing to get up one morning and find Zimbabwe missing from Africa!!!

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