Zimbabwe terminates stock exchange, mobile payments over ‘economic sabotage’

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Zimbabwe terminates stock exchange, mobile payments over ‘economic sabotage’

On Friday, Zimbabwe, the fiscally embattled landlocked country in the Southern Africa, had terminated trades on stock exchange and mobile-phone based payments for an indefinite period of time effective immediately in order to address a growing grudge over the country’s rapidly devaluing currency following its reintroduction last year, however, the Zimbabwean Government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa had branded the move as part of its attempt to apprehend fiscal “criminality and economic sabotage”.

In point of fact, latest move from the Zimbabwean Government came forth a couple of days after the country’s Central Bank had issued a weekly auction for the scanty foreign currencies in order to bring them in to the conventional money channel.

Over 80% transactions would be stalled: Central Bank

On top of that, followed by the reveal of Friday’s decision of the Zimbabwean Government to terminate stock trading and mobile-phone based payment systems accusing the mobile payment platforms as the major drivers to trade foreign currencies outside the traditional banking channel, the country’s Central Bank was quoted saying in a statement that more than 80 per cent of the fiscally lacerated country’s transactions were being made through mobile payments due to a steep lack of hard currencies.

Apart from that, adding that the move to halt trading in the stock exchanges was aimed at putting an end to an economic sabotage conducted by a number of listed stocks such as Old Mutual that had been proffering proxy exchange rates based on the prices on foreign stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange, the statement said, “Government is in possession of impeccable intelligence which constitutes a prima facie case whereby the phone-based mobile money systems of Zimbabwe are conspiring, with the help of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, either deliberately or inadvertently, in illicit activities that are sabotaging the economy”.

In tandem, industry analysts warned after the Govt. move to halt stock trading that the mobile payment services alongside some listed stocks would likely to face off “intrusive investigations”.