Zimbabwean central bank clarifies measures on phone-based money transfer platforms

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HARARE, June 28 (Xinhua) -- The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on Saturday clarified the measures taken to deal with illicit trading on phone-based money transfer platforms, assuring the public that "bona fide" transactions will be processed normally.

The central bank said on Saturday night that it was money agents who had been suspended from mobile banking transactions.

Meanwhile, the central bank emphasized that all mobile money liquidations should be done through the banking system.

Government spokesperson Nick Mangwana on Friday announced the suspension of all monetary transactions on phone-based mobile money platforms as it seeks to deal with the foreign currency black market and economic saboteurs.

He said the government had taken a series of measures to deal with malpractices, criminality and economic sabotage committed by people who pretended to be supporting the government.

"These measures include the suspension of all monetary transactions on phone-based mobile money platforms in order to facilitate intrusive investigations leading to the arrest and prosecution of offenders ... the measures will also include the suspension of all trading on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange," he said.

Panic gripped the market following Mangwana's announcement with many mobile money subscribers wondering how they would liquidate funds in their accounts following the immediate suspension of all transactions.

Some businesses, including fuel service stations, on Saturday did not accept mobile money transactions.

However, EcoCash, which is the country's biggest mobile money transfer platform, urged its more than 10 million clients to ignore Mangwana's statement.

Millions of Zimbabweans rely on mobile money transfer platforms for their transactions. Enditem

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