October 11, 2006

Money transfers from diaspora monopolised

In a bid to get total control over the large amount of funds being transferred from the Diaspora to Zimbabwean residents each day, the Central Bank of Zimbabwe has outlawed 16 private money transfer operators, gaining an effective monopoly on the service. The large foreign exchange revenues, due to a discrepancy between official and black market rates, are to go directly into government treasury. Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono accused the foreign and local agencies of "non-performance and deviant behaviour by most players in this sector" that was leading foreign exchange from the Diaspora to end up at the black market. Most exiled Zimbabweans have preferred to use channels that allow their relatives in Zimbabwe to cash out transfers in foreign exchange, which again gives them a much greater value on the black market. A large part of the Zimbabwean Diaspora is also strongly objected to the Mugabe regime, and does not want to contribute to its wealth by using official channels.

The 16 closed agencies included the global leader Western Union and other big institutions belonging to the Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank, CBZ Bank, Interfin, the Central Africa Building Society and TransAfrik (afrol News)

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