Once touted by Zimbabwean authorities as the effective solution to the country’s cash problems, mobile money is now being blamed for the rapid loss in value of the country’s Zimdollar currency. The central bank has described the leading EcoCash platform as a Ponzi scheme in court papers seeking to sustain a directive to disable its agent lines.
Zimbabwe continues to battle a severe financial crisis that has only worsened through the Covid-19 pandemic. Mobile money had helped boost financial inclusion in Zimbabwe as banks—which have been closing branches—fail to meet depositors’ demands for cash withdrawals. Mobile money usage in Zimbabwe has moved from just basic digital payments and rapidly evolved to include salary payments and remittances among other use cases.
But regulators now have a different position as they allege EcoCash, with over 11 million registered mobile wallet users, has been fueling illegal currency dealings on the streets. The
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