Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates

New Zesa tariffs with effect 26 Sept 2022. 45% hike!

Zesa has updated its tariffs for September 2022 taking effect on the 26th of the same month. The tariffs include the 6% REA levy. It looks like the tariffs are up by 45% across the board so expect an equally hefty increase to your electricity bill. You can click here to buy your tokens or […]

Are the $9,200 laptops that the Zim parliament almost bought really overpriced?

What happened was that the Parliament of Zimbabwe needed new laptops and desktops. So, they went about acquiring the machines and naturally invited suppliers to bid to supply. They proceeded to pick the best deals they could get. Said the clerk of parliament, It is during these processes that two companies were cleared as meeting […]

Mobile money and POS transactions way down as Zimbabweans unofficially dollarise

Economies run on trade. Of course, if we looked hard enough we could find one self-sufficient man somewhere but most of us have to trade what we have for what we need. Money, especially paper and electronic money makes this all easier. The beauty of it is that we have a record of how much […]

I think I know who the gold coins are actually for and it sickens me

Let us consider all that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has told us about the coming gold coins. When we do that and also look at alternatives available to would-be buyers, the picture is clear. At least clear to me. There is one major group of people meant to buy the coins. The RBZ made […]

Videos & messages of gold coins in circulation are FAKE says RBZ

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) took to Twitter this morning to dismiss videos and messages circulating on social media saying that gold coins are available and are in circulation. Videos and messages circulating on social media purporting or giving out that gold coins are available for sale and that some people already have them […]

RBZ gold coin: Who can get one, can it buy anything & everything else you need to know

The Zimbabwean Gold Coin has arrived, and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has released the specifications as well as the powers that the new financial tool has. The statement from the RBZ reads as follows: INTRODUCTION OF GOLD COINS Pursuant to the resolution of the Monetary Policy Committee of 24 June 2022 to introduce […]

“There’s absolutely no need to rush to spend the Zimdollar,” says Zim govt. 40% interest on deposits good enough

I remember a friend telling me that their company always seemed to be in fire fighting mode. It appeared nothing was ever pre-planned and all the company did was react to the outside world. Doesn’t that sound just like how Zimbabwe is run. The bond note loses value? Outlaw use of the USD. People ignore […]

Zim govt introduces gold coins which could be a game changer, commitment to multicurrency regime commendable too

Zimbabwe is not trending in the right direction. You could argue that the whole world is struggling too but Zimbabwe was already on this track before the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. We are now working with an inflation rate of 191% year on year. That means prices have almost tripled from this time last […]

You are $1,200 in debt right now because Zim owes former farmers US$3.5bn, Paris Club US$3.8bn

The way a republic works is that we select a few people to run the country on our behalf. We give them terms and in Zimbabwe we evaluate their performance every five years. If we are not happy with their performance, in theory at least, we choose other stewards.  Evaluation time is almost upon us […]

RBZ measures addressing abuse of loan facilities reasonable, however findings show lending suspension was not worth it

They say extraordinary problems call for extraordinary solutions. In April 2022 the government of Zimbabwe shocked the world when they barred banks from lending. They assured us it was the only way to deal with the currency manipulation which was (is) rapidly devaluing the local currency.  The ban did not last long, in 10 days […]

Nedbank customers, swipe limit is now at ZWL$1.5 million

Nedbank Zimbabwe has, in an SMS to customers, said that it has upped the point of sale (POS) swipe limit to ZWL$1.5 million for individuals and ZWL$2.5 for corporates. Dear Client, We advise that our daily swipe limits have been reviewed to ZWL1.5 million for individuals & ZWL2.5 million for Private Banking, Corporates/SMEs. Nedbank Zimbabwe […]

Mthuli Ncube wants MPs to forgive $107 BILLION govt overspent without approval

The Minister for Finance, Mthuli Ncube had, according to the Financial Adjustments Bill 2022, overspent by ZWL$100,690,788,418 in 2020 and ZWL$6,783,930,028 in 2019. Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance is now seeking that this unauthorised spending is pardoned by Parliamentarians. The fact that these figures are coming out now is in direct violation of section 307 […]

RBZ lifts Metbank’s dealer licence suspension

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced that it has lifted the suspension of Metbank Limited’s dealer licence after the conclusion of its inquest into the bank’s alleged breach of Exchange Control Regulations. The statement on Metbank’s current status from the RBZ reads as follows LIFTING OF SUSPENSION OF METBANK’S AUTHORISED DEALERSHIP LICENCE The […]

Standard Bank launches Africa Trade Index revealing the continent’s US$70 Bil trade opportunity

Tuesday 7 June 2022 will see the inaugural publication of Standard Bank’s Africa Trade Barometer. The barometer is expected to become Africa’s leading trade index.   Present in 20 African markets and supporting trade activities in many more, Standard Bank enjoys a uniquely privileged view of Africa, “especially its rapidly emerging enterprises heavily focused on domestic, […]

First Capital & EIB EUR12.5 mil loan facility: Collateral, interest rates & startups

First Capital Bank today announced that it was a beneficiary bank of the European Investment Bank‘s (EIB) medium – long term lines of credit (4 to 7 years) aimed at giving Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) a valuable USD lifeline. Before we get into that it was interesting to see that Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe […]

TECHNIKARI with King Kandoro: Zimbabwe’s economy is a Mshikashika

The recent policy measures that were put in place by the government left many scratching their heads as to what is going on in Zimbabwe. The most confusing one of them all was the banning of credit which was overturned, but not as loudly as loans were banned. To get stuck into the immediate and […]

Are Zim enterprises financially excluded when they don’t want to be included? Only 14% apply for loans

Like with all other things in Zimbabwe, trying to answer the question of what the unemployment rate is is tricky. It depends on who you ask.  If we only count those who are formally employed with pension provision and whose taxes are deducted by employers, we arrive at a very high unemployment rate. We could […]

43% of micro to medium businesses in wholesale and retail, 5% in ICT and manufacturing.

The SIVIO Institute released a report on financial inclusion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Zimbabwe and there are a lot of nuggets into the real situation on the ground in it. One of the first things that caught my attention was the industry representation of the businesses surveyed.  We find that 22% […]

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 Zim govt announced that retailers are no longer allowed to offer discounts for those paying in USD. Instead, they shall accept both the USD and the ZW$ and use the interbank rate to price using the 2 currencies. In fact, use of the willing buyer willing seller rate is now mandatory by law. Unfortunately, […]

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 […]