Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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RBZ shuts down Market Watch & other black market exchange rate sites

The government/RBZ has shut down the black market rate tracking site Market Watch. If you go to Marketwatch now you’ll see that website is no longer in-service error. According to a report by Bloomberg, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor John Mangudya said in an interview that all black market rate tracking sites were […]

RBZ to clamp down on ZW$ card swipe for USD money changers

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has put out a directive for banks to report those who are using local currency card swipe transactions to facilitate illegal USD exchanges. The statement by the FIU on card swipe for USD forex deals is as follows: ABUSE OF DEBIT CARDS TO FACILITATE ILLEGAL […]

CZI calls for RBZ to state how much forex is available before the auction

The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has called for the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to temporarily reduce the forex auction allocation to US$25 million over the next three weeks and instead focus on clearing the backlog. “We recommend the following additional measures: temporary reduction of the total amount to be allocated at the auction […]

CBZ to start identifying & reporting account holders suspected of illegal forex deals

It looks like the meeting that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had with captains of industry has started a wider domino effect against those dabbling on the black market. According to a report by ZimPriceCheck, CBZ Bank will start reporting those suspected of illegal forex deals to the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit. Reference is […]

Here’s what the RBZ got from its meeting with captains of industry

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), the Ministries of Finance, and Industry and Commerce today had a meeting with captains of industry to deliberate on the matter of the exchange rate and the parallel market rate. Here’s the statement from the RBZ about the meeting and the resolutions that were arrived at: The Reserve Bank […]

Govt’s new black market measures should start with the big companies

We didn’t get a new price control or exchange rate Statutory Instrument (SI) but the Ministry of Finance delivered a strongly worded circular about how it is going to tackle the black market foreign currency issue in Zimbabwe. Before I go into what the title says, I have to start with the glaring problem with […]

All the bureaux de change firms where you can buy USD at the Auction Rate

Earlier this year, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) announced that it was allocating money to licenced Bureaux de Change so that they can sell USD at the Auction Rate to the public. We have reported here a number of times about ContiCash, which is one of the many licenced operators that anyone can buy […]

Ministry of Finance sanctions snap audits, licence suspensions to curb USD black market deals

The Ministry for Finance has said that it will be implementing measures to curb black market dealings. Some of the ways the govt will be dissuading businesses from trading on the black market are, snap audits and if found guilty, the suspension of operating licences. The statement from the Ministry of Finance on measures to […]

A new price control/exchange rate SI would be a huge mistake

From what have seen over the last week or so it is likely that the authorities are at the very least thinking about a new Exchange Rate or Price Control Statutory Instrument (SI). Last week the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) named individuals who were involved in currency manipulation on social media. The central bank […]

RBZ to tighten money supply. What does that mean and how are they trying to achieve it?

Every single Zimbabwean knows more about economics than the average person everywhere else. We might as well do away with the Economics degrees at our colleges. The school of life was our college and hyperinflation our teacher. However, there are still some concepts we need help breaking down. Today, we try to understand what tightening […]

Basel Institute says Zimbabwe has high levels of corruption

The Swiss-based Basel Institute on Governance, an independent non-profit group dedicated to preventing and combating corruption and other financial crimes recently labelled Zimbabwe a high-risk country. Zimbabwe was ranked the 12th riskiest country out of 110 covered countries in the Institute’s 10th edition of the Anti-Money Laundering Index (AML) of 2021. The group had no […]

The government needs to fix its forex auction

The RBZ’s foreign currency (forex) auction system is fundamentally flawed. The government instead of blaming the black market should be looking at how they can make the auction better because it, rather than the black market, is the real reason why the economy is being held back. The black market only exists thanks to the […]

Breaking down the poverty info released by ZIMSTAT, Zim situation dire

The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency has released the latest poverty statistics for the month of September 2021. The poverty datum line information that they release is not packaged with regular people in mind. One has to have a basic understanding of economics to fully comprehend the implications. The headlines read, ‘Poverty Datum Line rises by […]

EcoCash deals land 8 firms in court: Zim still treating symptoms, not cause

Eight companies appeared in court yesterday, the 27th, for illegally dealing in foreign currency. The companies allegedly bought foreign currency on the streets using EcoCash agents, illegally.  The unlucky eight are: Titanium Capital (Pvt) Ltd Dream High Investments (Pvt) Ltd Access Finance (Pvt) Ltd Tererati (Pvt) Ltd Vision Credit Score (Pvt) Ltd Capital Profit Financial […]

Dear government, threats make people mistrust the system more

Recently stakeholders in Zimbabwe’s health sector shared some concerning but not unexpected tidbits about Zimbabwe’s auction system. They said that it takes up to 10 weeks instead of the promised 24-48 hours for beneficiaries to receive their allocations. This naturally had negatively impacted their operations. Instead of listening to these and other concerns about the […]

The RBZ’s auction system takes up to 10 weeks to process payments

While there was a mere 10 ZWL or so difference between the black market and official rate when the RBZ’s auction system was introduced last year, black market sellers and buyers are now using a rate that is almost double the official rate. Naturally, this has meant that a lot of SMEs and large corporations […]

ContiCash now allows you to buy up to US$50 at the official rate

A few weeks ago we scoffed at the announcement by the Monetary Policy Committee which said that individuals would now soon be allowed to buy up to US$50 from Bureau de Changes at the official rate. That scepticism was based on history. We have heard such announcements before and nothing has come out of it. […]

ZERA now controls the price of LP Gas, here are the current prices

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) now controls the prices of LP Gas just like they do with fuel and ZESA tariffs. ZERA is empowered to do so under Section 54 of the Petroleum Act as refined by Statutory 90 of 2021. According to the Statutory Instrument, ZERA can review the monthly prices of fuel […]

South African to launch a digital currency called the E-Rand, we have been having it

One of the most memorable ads from the last decade is, at least for me, the Vodacom “we have been having it” series of ads including this one. In them, an Id Amin inspired character expresses amazement that people are constantly praising (yep yep yeping) Vodacom’s features like custom ring tones and having up to […]

Monetary Policy Committee says Individuals can now transact up to US$50 per week via Bureau de Changes

These days the ZWL official rate is more or less stable and the government has also stopped rocking the boat with the rash policies like the infamous Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021. However, the Monetary Policy Committee which is responsible for crafting some of these policies is still very much in existence. Recently they met […]

NSSA closes scores of pensioner accounts in a bid to weed out ghost accounts

Zimbabwe’s National Social and Security Authority (NSSA) has always been accused of harbouring a lot of ghost accounts on its books among scores of other improprieties revealed in several audits. Lately, they embarked on a mission to rectify this anomaly but they seemed to have bungled it. Now their latest attempt to clean the books […]

Full Text: Zimbabwe receives US$961 million from the IMF

The Zimbabwean government has officially announced that they have received almost a billion US dollars from the International Monetary Fund via the institution’s Special Drawing Rights (SDR). SDR refers to supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets that are maintained by the IMF and availed to member countries if they so choose. Zimbabwe will probably use the […]

Reminder: Civil Servants can import vehicles duty-free

Our esteemed government has unleashed so many harsh Statutory Instruments on us sometimes it’s hard to remember the cheerful ones. For example, we can all recall the pain of SI 127 of 2021 and the chaos it brought. If you mention ex-Japs or secondhand vehicles everyone groans because they are very much aware of the […]

Zimbabwean government says it’s suspending its chaotic COVID-19 allowance facility after a good harvest

In April of last year, when COVID-19 hit the country and tough lockdowns were introduced, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube announced that the government had a budgeted $600 million dollars that were meant for the vulnerable members of society as well as small informal business owners who had been exposed by the lockdown. There was a […]

Remittances up by 73% from the recorded figure this time last year!

Remittances look on course to breaking the US$1 billion and some change record that was set last year. According to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s (RBZ) Mid-Term Monetary Policy Statement, remittance figures are up by 73% at US$649 million from the US$374 million that was recorded over the same period last year. Inflows January to […]

RBZ to acquire a 15% stake in Zimswitch

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) today released the Mid Term Monetary Policy Statement which highlighted the events of the previous year and this one. In that statement, there was an interesting revelation. The RBZ has acquired or is set to acquire a 15% stake in the national payments switch, Zimswitch. “The Bank is proceeding […]

Eddie Cross: Zim should have a 5% transaction tax, halve PAYE & no company tax

I was joined yet again by Economist and former member of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Monetary Policy Committee Eddie Cross to talk about financing a nation, tax collection and administration as well as electronic transactions You can play or download the podcast with the link below. Alternatively, you can download the podcast on WhatsApp […]

You no longer need proof of residence to pay your DStv using Conticash

A few weeks ago we received some pleasant news, several Bureau de Changes were now allowing people to pay for their DStv using RTGS at the official rate. One of these exchanges was ContiCash who are part of the Conti family of fintech services that includes a money remittance service and a payment gateway that […]

Ecobank account-holders worry as the bank says it will be backdating collection of 2% tax

It has been almost three years since Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube introduced his much-hated 2% tax. It’s still not clear why the tax was introduced, so many reasons have been given, but it is now an accepted fact of our lives. Sometimes something outrageous concerning the tax happens however and people are forced to question […]

Multichoice embroiled in a spat with the Nigeria tax authorities

Multichoice Nigeria, a subsidiary of the South African giant and pay-TV operator has had their Nigeria accounts frozen. They are embroiled in a spat with the Nigerian Tax authorities (Nigerian Federal Inland Revenue Services i.e. FIRS) who claim that the pay-tv operator owes them a staggering US$4.3 billion (1.8 trillion Naira) in taxes. According to […]