Following the NPS Direct 01/2019 which ordered mobile money operators,l ed by Ecocash, to stop cashin and cashout transactions as of the day before yesterday, social media has been awash with news that the RBZ has ordered Ecocash to clear all balances in Ecocash accounts to zero. That message is fake!

Dear valued customer

We got an instruction under the ministerial directive to clear all EcoCash wallet balances to 0.00. We are obliged to act when directed to do so and the matter is beyond our control. All inconveniences are sincerely regretted

Fake message that came hot on the heels of the internet shutdown, back in January-February

The message is from February

In fact, we didn’t even need to ask Ecocash or Cassava Smartech Zimbabwe Limited whether the message was fake or not because they have already confirmed its fake. They confirmed that its fake months ago back in January of this year!

The message started circulating hot on the heels of the internet shutdown. It actually follows the structure of the messages sent out by Econet after they were instructed to shut down the Internet by the government. The only part that has been changed is the fact that the authority issuing the order is now RBZ.

Here is what the original fake message said:

Dear Customer,

We got an instruction under the ministerial directive to clear all Ecocash wallet balances to 0.00 .We are obliged to act when directed to do so and the matter is beyond our control. All inconveniences are sincerely regretted.

Fake message from February

Ecocash and Econet have already confirmed this message is fake. The new message is also fake.

It’s fake but people are rattled

What the government has been doing since January 24 has a lot of people rattled they don’t even know what the government will do next? That is why a lot of people are putting stock in this message even though they suspect its fake.

The RBZ would never write to Ecocash alone when there is also Onemoney and Telecash. That is the second hint that this message is fake. Besides, even assuming the RBZ is in charge of the banking system, they most certainly don’t have the authority to issue an order such as this.

Even the Zimbabwe government with all its brashness would never allow such an order to pass. It’s tantamount to them robbing every citizen of this nation. Our government might be mad but there is a method to their madness. They have been nothing but populist. Robbing everyone including the security sector of their money, that’s what this is, is anything but populist.

Evil lurking on social media

Someone has simply repurposed an old message in order to sow discord. This is very unhelpful as it is likely to spread panic. It also proves the hardliners in government right, that social media is a weapon being yielded by an unseen third force.

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