Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

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RBZ lifts suspension of bank lending with immediate effect. Talk about volatility

Everything is ‘with immediate effect’ with the Zimbabwean govt. Lending is unbanned as quickly as it was banned. It was only 10 days ago that we were surprised to hear that the government was suspending lending in the country. The ban on lending was extensive, preventing all financial institutions from lending to any individual, corporate […]

Govt says willing-buyer-willing-seller for forex but it’s more like fortunate-buyer-unwilling-seller

The Zimbabwean government has made it clear that the ZW$ is here to stay. Yes, they know that the local currency is in freefall but they reckon they can turn it around. In trying to do that it appears they are throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. While we all know that […]

BancABC distances itself from paper analysing the govt’s economic measures. Paper makes good points regardless

The Zimbabwean government did a number on banks, suspending loans that are responsible for a third of their revenues. We know that banks are trying to engage the authorities to see if they can’t find a better solution to the abuse of loan funds by the public. Banks are going about it in a civil […]

With lending suspended, banks will be okay but microfinance institutions likely to struggle

Still wild to think the government woke up one day and outlawed the activity that pulls in a third of banks’ revenue. The government suspended all lending in the country and financial institutions are scrambling to engage them with a view to changing their minds. Let’s look at how banks and other financial institutions will […]

4% forex tax & withdrawal levy: Forever banishing the idea of banking USD

Wangu wangu wangu! Might be an overplayed meme at this point, but it perfectly captions the response I and many others had to the new economic measures presented by the President late last week. Chief among those measures was an incentive for the use of local currency by slapping a 4% tax on forex transfers […]

RBZ on suspension of bank lending. Partly drawn loans are suspended too. What is the rationale behind these decisions?

It started with a short paragraph by the President. If we hadn’t been living in Zimbabwe for the past 2 decades we would have been more shocked – all lending by banks was suspended on the 7th of May 2022. In his speech, President Mnangagwa said, In order to minimise the creation of broad money […]

RBZ finally identifies actual cause of Zimdollar collapse but maintains old measures

When I first heard that the first step in problem solving is identifying the problem, I thought that was a bit condescending. Pre-teen me couldn’t understand how one could not know the problem they were trying to fix. By the end of my teens I was well too aware of just how difficult it can […]

Zim inflation highest in the world at 207% – Hanke. Official rate much lower

If you are living in Zimbabwe you don’t need telling that inflation is getting out of hand. It has been years since you purchased your groceries for the same price in different months.  Those who earn in forex currency were at one time shielded from this inflation but now prices are going up in USD […]

RBZ bans Simbisa’s InnBucks with immediate effect!

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced that it has ordered Simbisa to halt operations of its loyalty and rewards program, InnBucks with immediate effect. The RBZ’s statement on InnBucks is as follows: PRESS STATEMENT CESSATION OF INNBUCKS OPERATING AS A MONEY TRANSFER SERVICE PROVIDER The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) advises the […]

30% interest per month on a loan? The Zimbabwean credit situation improving but still the wild west

There is no such thing as a purely capitalist economy and like many, Zimbabwe is a mixed economy. However, we have flirted with socialism more than most with our ‘command’ efforts in recent times as an example.  We still have a somewhat limited free market though. Although the government loves to exert control in the […]

Govt says new ZWL$100 note (worth US$0.69) on the way shortly

The Minister of Finance, Mthuli Ncube announced the introduction of a new $100 banknote. The minister announced this through Statutory Instrument 68A of 2022. In early 2021 we got reports that there would be $100 and $200 notes following close behind the $50 note. At the time the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe denied those reports […]

Mangudya says not enough USD in Zim to redollarise, Biti says that’s nonsense. On closer inspection, they agree.

There is a larger conversation to be had about whether or not Zimbabwe should officially redollarise. That is, to exclusively use the USD, or to at least scrap the Zimdollar project in favour of the USD and a few other foreign currencies. There are compelling arguments in either direction. Under the dollarisation model, Zimbabwe experienced […]

Deposit Protection now covers foreign currency accounts up to US$1000/account. Will you deposit your USD now?

In the Monetary Policy Statement released by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe yesterday, it was revealed that the Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC) now covers foreign currency denominated accounts. This deposit protection scheme was implemented with effect from the 1st of January 2022 and so you should feel safe to deposit your hard currency. The FCA […]

Zim economy an electric fire- pouring water makes things worse, Sorry Mangudya

The biggest issue I have with all the economic theories, principles and rules I know is that they start with the qualifier, “All things being equal.” All things are never equal more so in this beloved country we call Zimbabwe. I felt sorry for the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as I was […]

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) grew by 314.37% in 2021, whilst inflation rate was 60.7%

If you were wise enough to invest on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) in 2021 you would have seen a 314.37% growth in the value of your investment. Had you invested in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange you would have seen a return of less than 30% for the same period. The market capitalisation of the […]

2022 MPS wrap: Mobile money limits, crypto, remittances & more

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe yesterday released the 2022 Monetary Policy Statement (MPS). The central bank laid out a number of new measures and here are the highlights from the document. New Mobile Money limits The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has revised the mobile money limits for person-to-business from ZWL$20,000 to ZWL$25,000 with an overall […]

Zim recorded almost US$10bn forex receipts in 2021, the highest ever

In the Monetary Policy Statement released by the RBZ on the 7th of February 2022 we found out that 2021 was a record breaking year. Foreign currency receipts in 2021 were up 53.5%, going from US$6.3bn in 2020 to US$9.7bn in 2021. A huge increase even when compared with our previous best year in 2013 […]

[Download] The Monetary Policy Statement – 7 Feb 2022

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe released the Monetary Policy Statement for the second half of 2021. The RBZ has to release such a statement every six months “outlining the monetary policy stance for the subsequent six months, the reasons for the policies and an evaluation of the previous period monetary policy measures.” You can download […]

RBZ’s fintech sandbox needs to be more than a footnote in tomorrow’s MPS

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya is set to deliver the Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) tomorrow (8/02/22) according to a report by The Sunday Mail. Now, as usual, we will see what the central bank has been tracking as well as the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of its policies. Chief among those […]

Some taxes payable in USD now payable in ZWL – Good idea that won’t work

Finally the Zimbabwean government, the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube particularly acknowledges its double standards (somewhat). The minister has shared a document on Twitter titled, “Measures being instituted by government to enhance the domestic use of the Zimbabwe dollar.” The important bit goes so: a. All mining royalties are now payable in Zimbabwe Dollars up […]

0.36% budget allocation for ICT makes you wonder, would ‘command ICT’ serve us well?

I was old enough to witness some Zimbos build impressive real estate portfolios from ‘money changing’ profits in the years preceding dollarisation in 2008. As these people made their millions by ‘burning,’ I learnt the lesson, ‘it is in crises that wealth transfer occurs.’ The Covid-19 crisis yielded the same results, and tech companies came […]

Economy grew in 2021 whilst livelihood of citizens deteriorated as UN report shows

Let’s imagine there are two ecosystems that are distinct and barely interact. Where, although you could point to some correlations, you understood that both ecosystems survived on vastly different fodder. What happens if one of those ecosystems thrived? Well, that would have little impact on the other. That is the story of Zimbabwe and its […]

So our Finance Minister ranks in top 5 in Africa while RBZ governor ranks in bottom 5, what’s up with that?

I must have been out of the loop all these years cause I had no idea ranking finance ministers and central bank bosses was a thing. It does make a lot of sense though. Why do we care so much about who ranks highest when it comes to hitting balls with rackets (Novak) than who […]

Govt doubling down on what many believe caused the Zimdollar to collapse last year

After a couple years of recession, the Zim economy grew in 2021. The World Bank says we grew by 5.1%.  Now, increased economic activity necessitates and causes a growth in money in the economy.  With this in mind, it is reasonable to have the 27% growth in reserve money we saw here. Only problem with […]

Somehow, RBZ still to be convinced more money in economy leads to inflation

If you were in a coma the whole of 2021, just know you didn’t miss out on anything. It was a garbage year, globally. Zimbabwe was no exception. Near the end of the year we found out that the average rural family earns about US$75 a month and that 83% of urbanites are struggling to […]

Zimbabwe should brace for economic turbulence as USD set to strengthen – IMF

Like it or not, the United States of America wields a lot of power and influence over countries like our Zimbabwe. In Zim’s case, it’s even worse as the USD is the preferred currency within our borders.  Technically we still use a multicurrency system but there is only one currency anyone wants, the USD. Our […]

RBZ is coming after businesses involved in currency manipulation

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has in a tweet announced that it would start taking action against entities that are breaching the Bank Use Promotion Act and those that are involved in currency manipulation. This follows the Financial Intelligence Unit’s (FIU) investigations of entities that are allegedly committing these offences. The statement by the […]

Dr Mangudya graded by the Central Banker Report Cards

Update: The previous title of this article was “Dr Mangudya ranked worst Reserve Bank Governor” this was incorrect. The Reserve Bank Governor got a C-“ Global Finance has been publishing the Central Banker Report Cards since 1994. As you many have already guessed this is a school style mark for the world’s central bank governors […]

Discounts for USD: a game of haves vs have nots

Discounts for USD purchases is a “hidden” business practice in Zimbabwe. Late last year we reported on TM Pick n Pay’s 50% discount for groceries bought with US$ and it looks like they aren’t the only ones doing this. We were out on the town this week and popped into TV Sales and we noticed […]

Why won’t Zim MPs physically fight to abolish 2% tax like Ghana MPs did

The Zimbabwean finance minister introduced a 2% Intermediate Money Transfer Tax (IMTT) a couple of years ago to stun the nation. The 2% tax is charged on all money transfers – physical, electronic or otherwise. There is no distinction between individuals and businesses, all are equal in the eyes of the finance ministry and so […]