JUST IN: Outrage over Ecocash charges

Source: JUST IN: Outrage over Ecocash charges | The Herald September 17, 2019

JUST IN: Outrage over Ecocash charges

Herald Reporters
Ordinary Zimbabweans and economic experts have raised a red flag over excessive premiums charged by EcoCash agents when withdrawing cash, saying this was unlawful, inflationary and eroded recent salary increases awarded to most workers, including civil servants.

The experts and several people spoken to said there was need for monetary authorities and law enforcement agencies to institute investigations with a view to impose punitive measures on EcoCash agents, retail shops and other service providers who now had a three tier price for goods and services.

This comes as the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission said it was investigating the EcoCash agents while the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe indicated that it would increase cash in circulation to eliminate arbitrage opportunity. In an interview, National Business Council of Zimbabwe (NBCZ) president Mr Langton Mabhanga said there was need for monetary authorities to impose punitive measures on errant EcoCash agents.

“These premiums on cash are fueling inflation and causing untold suffering to ordinary persons. There is need to protect ordinary workers who have watched helplessly as their salaries are being eroded,” said Mr Mabhanga.

He said he did not agree that increasing cash in circulation was the panacea to arbitrage.

“In Rwanda, we have a replica of EcoCash and you will notice that majority of transactions are through plastic money. What is lacking is supervision instruments that in my view have failed. There is need for an audit of these EcoCash agencies,” he said.

NBCZ founding president Dr Keith Guzah has since written a letter to EcoCash raising their concerns.

“I write to you on behalf of our membership and the transacting public regarding the way your EcoCash agents have systematically eroded EcoCash balances by charging up to 60 percent on cashing out,” he wrote.

“Your agents have single handedly brought untold suffering to all Zimbabweans to the extent that the rest of the working class is literally working to enrich your agents, in particular and EcoCash in general.”

Economic analyst Mr Percy Gwanyanya concurred that the levying of premium on cash was inflationary.

“That is a burning issue at the moment because it decimates the recent salaries that were awarded to workers,” said Mr Gwanyanya.

He said the root cause was the mismatch between available cash in the market with broad money supply on the economy. Mr Gwanyanya said the central bank should first increase cash in circulation and implement tight monitoring mechanism on EcoCash agents.

“The shortage of cash has seen these unscrupulous people selling cash, taking advantage of its shortage thereby creating adverse effect on ordinary persons,” said Mr Gwanyanya.

EcoCash has since denounced the levying of premium by their agents.

More to follow…


  • comment-avatar

    Charges are bad, like the 2% on e-transactions. That is part of the problem. Pass through an O Level math class and ask them whether one would rather get cash or e-transaction (ecocash), knowing that when time to spend comes one loses 2% when the other stays the same. Do the math and understand why a premium on cash over swipe and ecocash is natural. Fighting that which is natural is not natural. What is sane is to ensure if the two must be the same, they are actually the same. In developed countries (and still developing ones) debit card transactions are almost free so users do not notice it.. infact paying with cash cost more. You have the reverse. Ncube dictated that cash is 2% better than e-transact, who are you guys to start undoing that without first getting his buy-in? Torment as many people as you can catch doing this thing, its physics is such that unless you get Ncube on board your chances of lasting success are close to nil. Ecocash is the soft target and that you can appear to succeed, the bigger battle you are doomed to fail until you rope in the source of this disease, Ncube, possible that man at RBZ as well who makes cash scarce. For as long as someone spends 7 days in queues to perhaps get ZW20, the same will not part with that money at the same rate as Ecocash balance for which one does not have to spend even a second in a Q.

  • comment-avatar
    Tendai 11 months ago

    What nonsense we all know that the only people who can make inflation it is the Government ……….. there is nobody else who can make inflation , its only done by the Goverment , not somebody in the street

  • comment-avatar
    Golden 11 months ago

    The primitive African race decimates itself by riding roughshod over it’s citizen. It exploits for consumption of wealth created by others. Ecocash gets protection from primitive politicians because it now knows that tikadya tese with politicians, no one will touch us.

    Then you dream that one day this country will rise?