There was panic and chaos yesterday when the Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Nick Mangwana issued a statement that said OneMoney and Ecocash had been suspended. The secretary also said the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange had been suspended. Given how ubiquitous Ecocash and OneMoney are, there was anger at this measure.

Eocash, the country’s leading mobile money provider, has however dismissed the notice pointing out that it did not come from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as procedure requires. Their service is therefore still up although one wonders for how long. The government easily rectify that procedural misstep and order the RBZ to order Ecocash to suspend operations.

It seems Ecocash is again trying to ingratiate itself with customers and washing it’s hands of any problems. They also seem intent on reminding the authorities that they risk annoying 10 million Zimbabweans who use Ecocash. These people will probably not be amused by whatever reason the government gives for suspending Ecocash. All they will care about is that the government’s orders will effectively affect their ability to transact. For an order that makes frequent use of the word “prudent” it doesn’t seem like diligence and care were part of the process that saw this order being made.

Dear Valued Customers,

We are aware of a statement purporting to have been issued by the Secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services that purports to ban all mobile money transactions.

However, EcoCash is regulated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and would naturally expect a directive of that nature and significance to be communicated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

We urge all Ecocash users who exceed 10 million Zimbabweans, the majority of whom do not have bank accounts, to remain calm and to continue to do your lawful transactions as usual. Should there be any changes, we shall give you adequate notice as required by law.

DIAL *151#
Live life the EcoCash way