Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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Mthuli Ncube Announces Foreign Currency Allocation Committee, Free Market Forces Will Have To Wait

The Minister of Finance, Prof Mthuli Ncube has announced his new foreign currency allocation committee. He promised that he would do this when he presented the 2019 budget proposal in November last year. It looks like the minister has no trust in the laws of demand and supply. Of course demand and supply will not […]

Statement From RBZ Governor Says All Is Well; If He Is Speaking To Us It Actually Means Things Are Not Well

The RBZ has issued a press statement signed by their boss, Dr John P. Mangudya. Here it is: PRESS STATEMENT DRAW DOWN OF FOREIGN CURRENCY FROM USD500 MILLION LINES OF CREDIT FOR PROCUREMENT OF ESSENTIAL COMMODITIES The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the “Bank”) wishes to advise members of the public that it has started drawing […]

New Perm Sec For Ministry Of Finance Believes Non Exporters Have No Right To Demand USD From Banks

We first published this on the 31st of August 2017. A year later, the then Barclays Zimbabwe CEO, George Guvamatanga is now the newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. We are republishing this post because of the significance of that shift in events. Anyone who doesn’t export has no […]

Mthuli Ncube, The Runaway USD/Bond Exchange Rate, The EcoCash Riot Act And Progress Backwards

No doubt Mthuli Ncube is the man on the spotlight in Zimbabwe right now. Some are wishing him to do magic, some hope he fails for their own selfish reasons and there aren’t many in the middle. No doubt there is a currency crisis in Zimbabwe right now. Most would describe coming across any small […]

EcoCash Sends A Warning To Its Agents Charging Extra Fees For ‘Cash Outs’

EcoCash has sent a stern warning to its agents who are charging extra fees (selling cash) to customers to ‘Cash out’. Any agent caught doing this, will be penalized- not sure what the penalty will be.   With at least 8 million, more than 50 000 agents and merchants, EcoCash has is many people’s preferred […]

Ecocash Accused Of Arbitrarily Barring Agents, Some Agents Form ‘Association,’ Ecocash Responds

That’s it, that’s the story  right there. There has been talk that Ecocash suddenly suspended agent accounts. This was surprising to us when we first heard it because it doesn’t make sense that Ecocash would rock the boat with agents when this network is the strength their solid market position is built on. (If interested […]

Reserve Bank Acts Typically Zimbabwean: If You Don’t Understand The Technology, Fear It And Ban It

Some years ago I founded an EdTech (educational technology) startup. We had solutions for primary and secondary schools. The solution may have been not so good or maybe it was but that was not important because the roadblocks at schools that we wanted to sell the solution ensured we could not test that out even […]

Zimbabwe’s Three-Tier System Affects Business For Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents are complaining that the three-tier pricing system in Zimbabwe is affecting the property market as it results in properties being valued at low prices. This means that real estate agents now generate low income. The three-tier pricing system is whereby one is charged different prices for the same commodity, all based on the […]

RBZ Govenor Mangudya Says There Is No Liquidity Crisis, We Have Enough Money In RTGS System. Haaya…

Dr John Mangudya always has a way of making me write articles even when I have planned not to. Yesterday he again declared that there is no cash crisis in Zimbabwe because there is a lot of money in the RTGS system. He is of course telling the truth and lying at the same time. […]

Does Mnangagwa Or ZANU PF Think They Can Bully Their Way Into A Better Economy?

Frightening or bullying people never works out well, does it? And threatening retailers will not bring in foreign currency in Zimbabwe right? President Emmerson Mnangagwa has spoken again on price hikes by retailers and producers. This time the president went on to set up a ZANU PF politburo team which will be chaired by the […]

Cash Now Accounts For 2.82% Of Payments, Less Than Internet Payments At 7.24%

In the latest Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) report on National Payments Systems which covers the third quarter of 2017 it was revealed that both values and volumes of transactions processed increased. Transactions worth $26.26 billion were processed in the three months to September 2017 from 287.5 million transactions meaning the average transaction was worth […]

Mnangagwa Warns Businesses On Continued Hiking Of Prices. Is He Justified?

President Emerson Mnangagwa recently warned industry players and outlet owners on their continued hiking of prices saying it was hindering the government’s efforts to improve the nation’s economy. While addressing delegates at the 6th annual Buy Zimbabwe awards held at Cresta Lodge in Harare recently, the president denounced the ongoing hiking of prices which he […]

Finally Chinamasa Speaks Truth On Causes of Cash Crisis And the Parallel Exchange Rate

One of the most epic responses to any question ever was by Patrick Chinamasa when he was asked earlier this year about the trading of the USD and other currencies on the streets. He said he did not know about any such activity because he was not there when it happened. Huh? In his recent 2018 […]

Government Prohibits Importation Of Fuel By The Public, That’s Quite Peculiar

Back in 2015, Statutory Instrument 171 was amended to allow members of the public to import up to 2000 litres of fuel per month for personal use. The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has however notified us that the Statutory Instrument (SI) which allowed us to do that has been repealed. It is quite strange […]

Externalisation: How Big Companies Contributed To The Cash Crisis

It has been revealed that over $3 billion was externalised from Zimbabwe from 2015 to June 2017. Now if you consider that Zimbabwe’s GDP was just over $16 billion for both 2015 and 2016, a total of about $32 billion, the $3 looks significant. It’s almost 10% of the GDP in that period. Just how […]

Africom Hit Hard By Cash Crisis, Sinks Even Lower

I know, it is easy to forget that Africom is still active in the Internet Access Provider race. It is easy to forget because the company has been struggling and losing ground to competitors. The latest POTRAZ quarterly report shed light on the extent of the struggles the company is facing. From Q1 to Q2 […]

Govt Relaxed Import Restrictions On Basic Goods And That Is Worrying

The Zimbabwean government introduced the Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 (SI 64) to control the import of basic goods that can be manufactured locally. This was meant to protect local industries and also to reduce the outflow of foreign currency. The SI 64 was met with resistance as traders cited that there was not enough […]

Bitcoin has been trading at a 100% premium in Zimbabwe, will it continue to do so if things change after the military takeover?

Recently, the number one issue which made journalists from outside Zimbabwe call Techzim for a comment has been Bitcoin. Why? Bitcoin was (and still is) trading at a premium in Zimbabwe. On Tuesday the 14th of November 2017 the rate of Bitcoin against the USD in Zimbabwe was almost twice that of the international rate. […]

How A New Zimbabwe Can Deal With The Cash Crisis

There has been a cash crisis in Zimbabwe for years now. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which initially denied that was the case was forced to acknowledge the crisis as queues at banks refused to go away despite the central bank’s best efforts. With the central bank acknowledging the cash crisis they had to give […]

RBZ to more than double the number of BOND NOTES in circulation this month

The RBZ has said that they are adding another $300 million worth of bond notes (I call them notes of bondage) by the end of November. They say this is again supported by another facility from the African Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank). Perhaps Ignatius Chombo, the new minister of finance (it still surprises me) […]

Yet another cash vendor arrested, Operation Dzosai Mari firing on all cylinders

Late last month the government made cash vending without a proper licence illegal. The Exchange Control Act was amended to empower the police to arrest illegal forex traders and seize whatever currency in their possession. If you still want to be a money-changer you have to obtain a licence. The RBZ shared what you have to do […]

Sick of retailers refusing modes of payment other than cash? RBZ shares what we can do about it

The RBZ says it has come to their attention that certain retailers and traders of goods and services are refusing to accept modes of payment other than cash. I do not know exactly when it is that it came to their attention but kudos to them for this world class detective work. I mean it’s […]

How are foreign investors coping in Zimbabwe? Maybe we can all imitate them

Foreign investment giants like JP Morgan Chase are also feeling the heat in Zimbabwe as far as the foreign currency shortages are concerned. These guys hold stocks in some companies that are listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange and like everybody else they can’t move that money easily out of the country if they decide […]

Mangudya lied, he’s the one to blame for cooking oil shortage says the manufacturers

This past weekend was an action packed one and it all started on WhatsApp, no wonder the Chinese government is restricting the app. So some guy or girl drafts up a message of doom on WhatsApp telling Zimbabweans that there are about to be serious shortages of basic commodities because of the excessive ‘printing’ of […]

Bitcoin Fetches 85% Premium In Zimbabwe

Bitcoin (BTC), the leading cryptocurrency, reached a high in Zimbabwe today as more people look to convert their bank balances to “real money” as well as getting their money out the country. Today, Monday 25 September 2017, on BitcoinFundi, the local Zimbabwean cryptocurrency exchange BTC traded for as much as $7,200/BTC translating to an 85% […]

RBZ governor guarantees that there will be no shortage of commodities… Yes he did!

The first thing I want to point out is the last descriptive phrase that the governor uttered/wrote in his official statement. He says the Zimbabwean economy is on the mend. If he had led with that one I was not going to read the rest of the thing. The fact that his statement talks about […]

Can you help me, where is the fuel in Zimbabwe?

Those of us who live in Zimbabwe have recently been exposed to a cash crisis that has hit our economy and along with it, an all too familiar era of fuel shortages has started to occur as a result. According to an assessment done by the Financial Gazette, a local business weekly, most fuel stations […]

More bond coins on the way as RBZ invoiced over $384,000 for $3m worth of bond coins from SA

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe ordered 6,048,000 bond coins worth $3,024,000 from the South African Mint company. The bond coins ordered are in the 50c denomination and will be enough to fill 126 drums. This information was obtained from a leaked invoice. The invoice is addressed to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe by South African […]

The 4, maybe 5, types of money in Zimbabwe…

Over the last couple of months a lot has been happening on the money side. Techzim has covered it extensively here but still we’re yet to see someone take time out and spell it all out for us – this is me doing it for myself and hopefully one, maybe two people will benefit. The Reserve Bank […]

Local startup introduces e-payment app Zapper to Zimbabwe, explores QR codes transactions opportunity

The cash crisis in Zimbabwe has been a sore point for just about everyone who’s trying to handle transactions. If it’s not the frustration of failing to access your money there’s the fact that for all the cashless society talk, sometimes there just aren’t nearly as enough Point of Sale (POS) machines from every retailer. […]