Zim ban on mobile money challenged in court

Cassava Smartech, majority-owned by local business mogul Strive Masiyiwa, has taken the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to court over the ban of mobile money facilities that allowed customers to deposit and withdraw using their mobile phones.

The company on Tuesday filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court of Zimbabwe for a temporary interdict against the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe's decision to ban mobile money agencies.

Masiyiwa launched launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe  in 1998. Cassava controls more than 90% of the mobile money market in Zimbabwe and is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

Cassava said while it was already in the process of implementing Monday's directive to discontinue offering its services, it intended to "temporarily stop the continued implementation of the central bank's directive pending the determination of the legality or otherwise of the directive".

It said in complying with the central bank's order, there was a "possibility of a complete shutdown of the Ecocash platform".

Cassava's mobile money platform is currently the lifeblood of Zimbabwe's payment system - at least 10.5 million people use it.

Since inception in September 2011, customers have used deposited more than US$10bn. 

Cassava CEO Eddie Chibi said the decision to shut down the platform came as a "shock" and said the directive was "irrational and a violation of constitutional rights." 
ZAR/USD
16.70
(+0.49)
ZAR/GBP
21.16
(+0.25)
ZAR/EUR
18.94
(+0.33)
ZAR/AUD
11.66
(+0.11)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.52)
Gold
1807.13
(+0.40)
Silver
19.01
(+1.29)
Platinum
831.98
(+1.03)
Brent Crude
43.03
(0.00)
Palladium
1981.99
(+1.58)
All Share
55417.89
(-0.66)
Top 40
51154.08
(-0.74)
Financial 15
10472.31
(+1.28)
Industrial 25
76134.69
(-1.67)
Resource 10
52483.78
(-0.20)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
I'm not really directly affected
18% - 1969 votes
I am taking a hit, but should be able to recover in the next year
23% - 2580 votes
My finances have been devastated
34% - 3832 votes
It's still too early to know what the full effect will be
25% - 2760 votes
Vote