By ZBC Reporter
The recent High Court ruling upholding the decision by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to suspend accounts belonging to Ecocash agents suspected of illicit activities has been welcomed by analysts who described the move as legally sound as it seeks to protect the country’s economic interests.
In terms of the National Payment Act and the Anti Money Laundering Act, all registered and licensed players in the financial sector are expected to report any suspicious activities taking place on their platform for safety and stability.
Legal expert, Advocate James Makiya says instead of working with authorities to fish out suspicious activities, it was bizarre to see Ecocash harbouring unscrupulous agents fuelling parallel market activities, hence the ruling was legally sound.
“It’s difficult to establish whose cause is Ecocash fighting because its license was not cancelled or revoked so to see it fighting in the corner of its agents means that they have interests, something akin of someone hiding criminals,” said Adv Makiya.
Economic commentator, Mr Tendai Chinamasa says Ecocash should not have given priority to profits before the national economic welfare by reporting suspicious activities on its platform.
“Because there was no regulation on the platform huge amounts of money were being moved without supporting underlying economic activities so why was Econet not regulating its platform?” Mr Chinamasa asked.
Barring the application of any economic fundamentals, other stakeholders also agree that the abuse of mobile money facilities is aiding parallel market activities.
The recent ruling puts under the spotlight how monetary authorities will regulate mobile money going forward, because if left unregulated they may cause permanent damage to the national economy.