ED orders RBZ to lift ban on diaspora remittances amid acute forex shortages
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Monday ordered Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) to lift the ban on all firms processing cash transfers sent to locals by their friends and relatives in the diaspora.
In a statement , Mnangagwa said the directive comes at a time when the lockdown has posed serious challenges for the financial services sector.
“In view of the ongoing COVID19 related national lockdown and the following concerns from users of money transfer services. I have directed the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to immediately address constraints around this essential financial service,” he said.
He underscored that the lockdown has increased people’s dependence on remittances which also have the added advantage of reaching directly to the most marginalised members of the nation.
“Because of the lockdown , livelihoods in the informal sector have been disrupted thus forcing many households to depend on the support of their loved ones abroad. It is thus critical for our financial service insitutions to adapt their operations to the emergency situation,” Mnangagwa said.
The directive comes at a time the pandemic has exposed the economy to critical foreign currency shortages.
Market watchers have since predicted that Zimbabwe is likely to get lower than the anticipated earnings in tobacco selling because China, which is the commodity’s biggest buyer , is hard pressed back home due to Coronavirus.
The experts have also hinted that major foreign currency earners like the tourism sector has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
Even the diaspora remittances are also expected to significantly dwindle considering that most Zimbabweans in the diaspora are based in countries hardest hit by the pandemic.
Just recently, the RBZ allowed shops to transact in US$ in a bid to ease transactions.