Bottle Stores And Other Liquor Outlets Now Allowed To Sell Alcohol

Bottle Stores And Other Liquor Outlets Now Allowed To Sell Alcohol-iHarare

Bottle Stores And Other Liquor Outlets Now Allowed To Sell Alcohol

The government yesterday delivered good news to drinkers of the wise waters when it announced that bottle stores can reopen under strict rules as it continues to relax the economy following success in containing Covid-19  infection.

Addressing journalists last night after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said bottle stores and other liquor outlets can now sell alcohol, but on the strict condition that no one drinks on or around the premises.

Since the start of the lockdown in March this year, only supermarkets, with their tight security and refusal to allow on-site drinking, have been authorized to sell alcoholic beverages.

Mutsvangwa said:

Following representations from the Liquor Retailers’ Association seeking permission for liquor retailers to commence operations, Cabinet resolved that operations could resume in line with COVID-19 regulations and on condition that no liquor is consumed at their premises.

Bars and nightclubs remain closed.

However, some bars and night clubs are still operating in defiance of lockdown regulations, opening behind closed doors.

In some instances, they are reportedly bribing security personnel on patrols who will tip them off whenever they suspect that they are being tracked.

Under the lockdown regulations, almost from the beginning, supermarkets and bottle stores were allowed to keep selling alcoholic drinks.

Bars and night clubs were closed before the national lockdown, but after a very brief ban on alcohol sales at the start of the lockdown, supermarkets, and licensed bottle stores were permitted to resume selling during the hours permitted for food shops, which have gradually been extended from six hours a day to eight-and-a-half hours a day, but with all exempted shops to be closed by 4.30 pm.

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    Current Power Outages Will Be A Thing Of The Past: Energy Minister Soda Zhemu Assures Zimbos

    power outages- iHarare

    Current Power Outages Will Be A Thing Of The Past: Energy Minister Soda Zhemu

    Energy and Power Development Minister Soda Zhemu

     

    Good news Zimbabweans!

    Energy and Power Development Minister, Soda Zhemu has assured the nation that power supplies would improve in the coming days as interventions are being implemented to restore normal generation at Hwange Thermal Power Station.

    The country has been experiencing power outages as a result of depressed generation mainly at Hwange due to old equipment that is overdue for service.

    Power utility, Zesa is producing 270 megawatts (MW) from Hwange and 890MW from Kariba hydro. An average of 200MW is imports against a national demand of 2 200MW.

    Speaking to The Chronicle on the sidelines of a tour of the Hwange units 7 and 8 expansion project, Minister Zhemu said engineers at Hwange Power Station had completed the refurbishment of unit 5 and were awaiting delivery of diesel to start up the generators for it to be back online.

    He said:

    Three units are currently in service and doing between 260 and 270MW, which is actually inadequate considering the power demands in the country. So far, we are expecting unit 5 to be back on service anytime once diesel is made available, which we heard is on its way. In the next 2-3 days unit 5 will be back to service. Once that unit is back online then the current power outages will be a thing of the past. Yes, we know there is work going on at units 3 and 6 and arrangements to have the experts coming back into the country.

    Zhemu also told The Chronicle that he hopes that once units 3 and 6 are brought into service by next month and December, the country will meet its power requirements for the productive sector and household consumers.

    He said delays on progress at units 7 and 8 expansion projects as well as the existing units was due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which caused lockdowns that affected foreign travel by engineers after the December holiday.

     

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    Here Are The New Fuel Prices In Zimbabwe Effective 05 September 2020

    New Fuel Prices In Zimbabwe Effective 05 September 2020

    New Fuel Prices In Zimbabwe Effective 05 September 2020

     

    The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has approved an increase in fuel prices following almost a month with no adjustment in the price of fuel. The new fuel prices are effective tomorrow Saturday, 05 September 2020.

    Diesel has now gone up to ZWL $86.38 per litre, an increase of ZWL $3.00 per litre from the previous price of ZWL $83.36 per litre.

    Blended Petrol has gone up to ZWL$97.93 per litre. This is an increase of ZWL $4.78 from the previous price of ZWL$93.15 per litre.

    However, there is good news for those buying in foreign currency. The United States Dollar prices have gone down slightly. Blended Petrol went down by 10 cents and is US$1.18 per litre while diesel is down 5 cents to US$1.04 per litre.

    Below is the full statement from ZERA which iHarare is publishing in its entirety.

     

     

    The price of fuel has now become more stable since the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) introduced the weekly foreign currency action system in June. Although the price is subject to change, it is no longer changing on a weekly basis.

    However, people are complaining that the fuel which is supposed to be sold in the local Zimbabwe currency, still referred to by many as RTGS, seems to be scarce and not readily available.

    Due to the scarcity of fuel being sold in the local currency, there are usually long winding queues at the service stations which will be selling in Zimbabwe Dollars.


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    Econet Hikes Voice Call Tariffs, Announces New Out Of Bundle Tariffs

    Econet out of bundle tariffs- iHarare

    Econet Hikes Voice Call Tariffs, Announces New Out Of Bundle Tariffs

    Tecno software eats airtime- iHarare

    Zimbabwe’s largest mobile service provider Econet Wireless has announced new voice, data, and SMS (out of bundle) tariffs.

    The new tariffs will take effect on Monday 7, September 2020.

    Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has increased tariffs for local voice calls to as high as ZWL$6.42 per minute.

    Econet has hiked the voice call tariffs from ZWL$0.0722 per second to ZWL$0.1070 per second. This translates to ZWL$6.42 per minute.

    The mobile service provider also hiked data tariffs to ZWL$1.2656 per MB from ZWL$0.8668 per MB.

    Strive Masiyiwa’s company also hiked SMS tariffs from ZWL$1.0980 per SMS to ZWL$1.6491 per SMS.

    iHarare publishes the full notice by Econet below:

    Dear Customer, 

    Please note of the following tariffs as per regulatory approval, effective Monday 7, September 2020. 

    1. Voice, Data & SMS (out of bundle) 

    2. SMS Bundle 

    Voice – ZWL$0.1070 per second 

    Data – ZWL$1.2656 per MB 

    SMS – ZWL$1.6491 per SMS

    To access the new SMS Bundles

    In related news, Econet recently hiked its mobile data tariffs by 60% following approval from the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz).

    Econet said the latest adjustment was in response to inflation movement, local currency devaluation, and increasing network input costs. 

    Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rose to a 10-year high of 837 percent in July, up from 737 percent in June, after prices of goods and services went up due to the impact of drought, foreign currency shortages, and the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

    According to the new data bundle tariffs, Econet subscribers will now be paying $13 for a daily 20 megabyte (MB) data bundle up, from $8, while 100MB bundles have been adjusted from $42 to $67 per month. Econet’s monthly 8G private Wi-Fi bundle will now cost $960 from $600.

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    Here Is How To Get ZESA Electricity Tokens On Credit

    How To Get ZESA Electricity Tokens On Credit On Econet

    How To Get ZESA Electricity Tokens On Credit On Econet

    How To Get ZESA Electricity Tokens On Credit On Econet

     

    The country’s biggest mobile network operator, Econet, has introduced a new facility which allows cash strapped subscribers to get ZESA electricity tokens on credit. This move is likely to be welcomed by many people, as some people sometimes have to go a few days without power when things get really tough.

    Surprisingly, the new feature was seemingly launched quietly with no fanfare.

    The ZESA electricity tokens on credit feature can be accessed using the USSD code. However, the feature may not be available to everyone, because certain conditions have to be met.

    According to Zimpricecheck, some of the conditions include the following:

    • You must be regularly using your Econet line. This feature will not work with a newly purchased line or with one that has been lying dormant for some time.
    • Your line should be in good standing and should not have any outstanding airtime credit that has not been paid.
    • For some reason, your line should not have more than ZWL$10.00 airtime. If your line has more than ZWL$10 airtime, you get the message

    “Sorry, your airtime balance is too high. To qualify for Zesa On Credit service your balance should not exceed ZWL$10.00”

     

     

    That said, here is how to get ZESA electricity tokens on credit on your Econet line.

    • Dial *179#
    • Select Option 2: ZESA On Credit
    • You will be taken to a similar screen where you select Option 1: ZESA On Credit.
    • At this point, if you do not qualify, you will get an error message and won’t be able to proceed.
    • If you do qualify, however, you then follow the prompts and enter your metre number and confirm.

    So far, Econet’s Zesa On Credit service allows you to get electricity worth only ZWL$50. however, as this appears to be the pilot program, the company may introduce higher amounts in future. For this service, you will have to repay the amount plus 26 per cent interest. We suspect the figure for the interest was arrived at after the company analysed the country’s inflation trends.

    With relatively very little or no load shedding at all and with lockdown regulations stopping many people from going to work, some people have been facing a different kind of problem concerning electricity: affordability. This likely means that the Econet Zesa On Credit feature will have a market.

    Issues of affordability are quite evident when on the first day of each month, scores of people try to purchase electricity units and in the process sometimes overwhelm the system. This is because every new month, allows people to buy subsidized units and many people who would have run out will be eager for a chance to buy cheaper units.


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    Understand How The Internet Works: Get An Accredited Digital Marketing Qualification.

    Afrodigital Pan University - Digital Marketing Accreditation

    Understand How The Internet Works: Get An Accredited Digital Marketing Qualification.

     Afrodigital Pan University

    Last week Afrodigital Pan University got its accreditation from CPD UK. In celebration of this great milestone and huge step ahead, Afrodigital is offering anyone interested the opportunity to get the Pan Degree in Practical Digital Marketing course for 30% less for the September intake. September intake closes on the 7th of September 2020.

    The accreditation of the Pan Degree in Practical Digital Marketing course by CPD UK makes it the strongest online digital marketing course developed and tutored in Zimbabwe.

    The Pan degree in Practical Digital Marketing is comprehensive and practical. As the student goes through the 14 modules of web marketing in the course, they are required to implement them in a real-world business of their choice as their course project. This gives the students an opportunity to acquire many digital skills including digital strategy (digital marketing framework), website management, social media marketing, Google Ads, search engine optimization, email marketing and more.

    Students who enrol on this course enjoy 100% convenience of learning at their pace and time if they have connectivity. There will be weekly webinars for students after each module to ask questions and elaboration of concepts learnt. Every student has a chance to interact with the course instructors on a weekly basis for a coaching session.

    From 2021, the course price will be reviewed from the current USD $140 to USD $220. The last class of 2020 is starting on the 5th of October 2020. Your best opportunity is to enrol for the September intake for 30% discount by the 7th of September 2020.

    Trust Nhokovedzo, the founder of Afrodigital Pan University and head instructor in this course, has over 12 years of experience in training and implementing digital marketing in the UK, US, Switzerland, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He was also involved in the Google Digital Skills training for Zimbabwe in 2017.

    Contact details: Calls & WhatsApp +263 719 215 343 or +263 775 695 481.
    Email: admin@afrodigital.org
    Register and pay online on: https://afrodigital.org


    READ

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    Mangudya’s Forex auction has made doubting Thomases believe…

    market-based foreign exchange

    Mangudya’s auction has made doubting Thomases believe…

    By Jameson Dapi

    On 23 June 2020, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr John Mangudya, introduced a market-based foreign exchange (forex) auction system for the country. Indeed, the auction came as refreshingly welcome news for most stakeholders, especially exporters and legitimate importers.

    It became the long-awaited market-based replacement for the fixed exchange rate which, among other shortfalls, threatened exporter viability, discouraged supply to the formal forex market, while encouraging disruptive parallel market activities.

    There is no price for guessing that the information asymmetry and opaqueness of the parallel market had serious knock-on effects on domestic price formation and, hence, contributed significantly to the pricing madness experienced in the country prior to the introduction of the auction.

    In other words, the absence of a formal market-based forex platform had amplified the prevalence of behavioural and fear-based pricing models, instead of conventional price-setting methodologies. This inevitably came at the detriment of the country’s macro-economic stability.

    As had been expected, the auction was received with a mixed bag of cautious optimism, and, in some cases, outright scepticism. At inception, the spread between the highest bid (ZW$100) and the lowest bid (ZW$ 25.5), reflected the effects of parallel market-driven information asymmetry as one economic agent believed that the fair price for the greenback was ZW$25.5 while another, in the same economy, saw ZW$100 as the right price. 

    The intrinsic implication of this asymmetry-induced bid spread for a trade-dependent economy, such as Zimbabwe, is that the same picture would naturally reflect in the pricing of goods and services, leading to market distortions and general instability.

    Today, however, after about 10-or-so auctions, the green sprouts are there for everyone to see in the form of evident forex market price discovery. There has been phenomenal bid convergence, progressive stabilisation of the exchange rate with knock-on positive implications for relative price stability in the goods and services markets. 

    Foreign exchange price discovery is a major milestone for the economy. The exchange rate is one of the most important prices in the economy as its stability and predictability has serious implications for any economy’s trade dynamics, balance of payments stability, investments flows and growth.

    The narrowing of bid spreads of between ZW$80 to ZW$88 witnessed over the past three auctions shows that the rate is converging between this band which is clear evidence that Dr Mangudya’s auction system has successfully achieved its key objective of setting a platform for foreign exchange price discovery to allow for sustainable, transparent and growth-enhancing forex trade in Zimbabwe

    This forex price discovery process further derives significance from the record time it took for the bid spread to narrow. In addition, it is befitting that we also fairly recognise the battery of support measures the Governor simultaneously put in place as he introduced the auction. 

    The success of the auction system benefited abundantly from the RBZ Governor walking the talk on monetary restraint and his welcome clampdown on errant activities of unscrupulous mobile money operators who were also fomenting forex rates and price instability in the economy. 

    These supportive measures, together with fiscal prudence, are the reason why for the first time in Zimbabwe, we had the formal forex market correcting in line with market forces without parallel market exchange rate running amok northwards. 

    Many people were very sceptical when the auction was introduced in June this year, but after the last 10 auctions, even the doubting Thomases have been overcome by the faith of the biblical Abraham. We can only commend the Governor and his team for a job well-done in introducing the auction, and far transparently running the system. 

    And thanks to the auction, our exporters can now breathe and hope for better times; our importers no longer need to resort to criminal parallel market activities to source forex and the generality of Zimbabweans have one more tangible reason to believe and hope again that better days are coming where exchange rate instability and inflation does not disrupt livelihoods and perpetuate suffering and poverty. 

    In addition, if as a country we sustain and build upon this development that has helped solve the exchange rate jinx, we are likely to see improved foreign direct investment inflows and renewed confidence in our economy.

    Jameson Dapi is an economist and development, finance expert. He writes here in his personal capacity. For views and comments, e-mail to dapijameson@gmail.com

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    Reasons Why Singapore Is Attractive To Foreign Firms

    Why Singapore Is Attractive To Foreign Firms

    Why do foreigners choose to set up businesses in Singapore?

     

    Once a mere fishing village, Singapore is now one of the busiest business hubs in the world with hustling financial activities centred around it. These astonishing results stem from how Singapore is strategically located, having competitive and strong labour, well-developed infrastructure and not to mention sound economic policies laid out by a stable and efficient government. Therefore, global businesses will find Singapore as an advantageous location to set up their headquarters here. If you are an investor or entrepreneur, you should consider registering a company in Singapore

    What’s more, strong trade and investment have made Singapore the most competitive country in Asia and one of the world’s easiest places to carry out business. As such, it makes perfect sense for major global banks, financial institutions, and multinational organizations to branch out in Singapore. Also, with the association “Lion City”, Singapore is backed with a strong currency which makes the place optimal to set up an overseas corporation. Here is a breakdown of why it is such a popular choice for businesses.

     

    1. Globally ranked as the best place to start a business

    Globally surveyed, Singapore has consistently topped the list as the ideal place for business. As compared to other business hubs, registering a company in Singapore simply requires a day to finish all the due processes once requirements and applications have been satisfied and duly submitted. Furthermore, you do not have to be Singaporean citizen to set up a business in Singapore, meaning foreigners are welcome to set up a company there. Application forms can also be submitted online, making the process swift and convenient. 

     

    2. A safe country, governed by strict laws 

    In terms of political stability, Singapore is one of the best-performing countries in Asia, and this lends a sense of security for investors, boosting their confidence if they decide to set up a business in Singapore. This is all due to a strong legal system with stringent anti-corruption laws. Not to mention, with such a low crime rate present in Singapore, if ever a border dispute takes place, businesses can rest assured with Singapore being recognized as a world-class arbitration facility.

     

    3. Business-friendly Ecosystem

    Singapore frequently appears on numerous international rankings, which include the likes of World Economic Forums, Global Competitiveness Report, and World Bank’s Doing Business Report, all of which represent Singapore’s strengths and infrastructure.

     

    4. A strategic position with a strong network of trade agreements 

    Due to its strategic location, Singapore is situated in the centre of Southeast Asia, making the nearby emerging markets accessible. Not to mention, with a rich network of FTAs, Singapore has a friendly international bond with other countries in terms of industry and trade. These FTAs facilitates cross borders’ trading and business, hence making it affordable for firms in Singapore to expand its business internationally.

    Singapore

    5. Substantial air connectivity

    Singapore’s Changi Airport is the base of extensive air connectivity as it hosts more than 100 airlines, of which flies to over 400 cities worldwide. Statistics show that approximately 7200 flights land or take off from Changi in a week. The number of airport passengers also exceeds a mindblowing number of 62.2 million. As such, Singapore proves more than enough that it can facilitate trade successfully, through an efficient logistic infrastructure and supply chain system. 

    6. Offers in-depth Intellectual Property Protection

    Singapore offers the best intellectual property (IP) protection as well as infrastructure and incentives as compared to the other countries in Asia. 

    7. Business hub with vibrant financial activities 

    Hustling with financial activities, Singapore boasts a large number of commercial banks, capital markets services license holders, and fund managers, making it a vibrant financial centre. Not only is it a business hub for weal management and Asia investments, but it also has the Singapore Exchange (SGX), which is one of the largest forex trading centres. Therefore, entrepreneurs have little to worry about if they need financial services to fund their business as there are both private and commercial banks offerings rates that go as low as 1% p.a. 

    8. Incentives loaded for a headquarter setup

    The Economic Development Board has implemented incentives for the international headquarters (IHQ) and regional headquarters (RHQ). RHQ is entitled to a 15% concessionary tax rate, and IHQ allows for even more attractive tax rates that range from 0% to 10%. 

     

    9. Foreign income exemption

    Another major benefit of setting up a business in Singapore is the foreign income exemption which allows businesses to send their foreign subsidiaries’ dividends directly to Singapore without being Singapore taxed. 

     

    10. Attractive tax system and rates  (Personal and Corporate)

    Singapore has a progressive personal tax system. Marginal rates vary within a range of  0 to 20 % and the structure enables residents to access multiple reliefs, which then helps to lower their effective payments. To add on, Singapore provides a scheme called the “Not Ordinarily Resident”, in short, the NOR scheme. This scheme grants a generous tax treatment lasting for five years for qualified working individuals based in Singapore. In a clearer definition, this group of individuals works for a Singapore registered company who earn minimally S$160,000 in a year and spend not less than 90 days per year outside Singapore for work-related reasons. As a result,  IRAS will not implement a tax on the individual based on the income during the time spent outside the country for business. 

     

    At the same time, corporate tax is also attractively structured. Although there is a low marginal rate (17%), the effective tax rate is even lower. During the first three years of taxable income belonging to non-resident corporations, they are granted free of tax under a jurisdiction named “zero tax”. Additionally, an agreement called the “DTA”, which stands for Avoidance of Double Tax Agreements (DTAs) is also implemented by the government to ensure prosperity through financial success. 

    Bottom Line

    All in all, the above mentioned are the top 10 reasons convincing you why you should choose Singapore as a place to set a business in. Besides, with the fact that Singapore is a preferred choice by foreigners, it makes the outlook even clear. We hope that you are now more familiar with Singapore and are well convinced by our analysis. Finally, we wish you all the best with your future endeavours, good luck! 

     

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    Here Is Why You Are Having Power Cuts: ZESA Explains Recent Loadshedding

    Zesa explains power cuts- iHarare

    ZESA Explains Recent Power Cuts

    ZESA Installs Solar at Had Office

    ZESA has explained the recent power cuts experienced in various parts of Zimbabwe.

    The power utility said the recent power cuts are due to a technical fault at Kariba and Hwange Power station.

    Power supply had improved since March until recently when some parts of the country started experiencing power shortages.

    In an interview with The Herald, ZESA Holdings acting group stakeholder relations manager Ms. Prisca Utete explained the situation has been made worse by the unavailability of normal import levels due to constraints in the Southern African region.

    She said:

    Hwange unit 5 has been out and works are at an advanced stage to recover it, while Unit 2 developed tube leaks and repairs are almost complete with expectations of bringing it back as soon as possible, hence minimising the demand supply mismatch. Unit 8 is out of service due to a technical fault at Kariba power station, which is currently operating with seven units. Efforts are underway to restore this unit.

    Utete stated power supply will improve commencing this week.

    The power cuts drastically resumed barely a week after President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired Fortune Chasi as Energy Minister and replaced him with the unheralded Soda Zhemu.

    After months without experiencing any power cuts, many Zimbabweans got a rude awakening, when the power shortages returned. As expected, people took to social media to vent and to express their unhappiness at the new status quo.

    Although the power cuts are not as extensive as those experienced during last year’s massive load shedding, people are anxious that the current situation may be a warning of much worse to come.

    Unsurprisingly, some have linked the drastic change in the power situation with the firing of Fortune Chasi. Chasi who is affectionately known as ‘Chibabest’ is widely respected on social media by many from the political divide for the way he was open to interacting and discussing major issues.

    Whilst others are also calling for new Minister Soda Zhemu to be fired, blaming him for the return of power cuts. Others, have taken it a notch further and are accusing Chasi of scheming to sabotage the power grid.

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    RIP EcoCash Agents: RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently

    Econet search warrant- iHarare

    RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently

    RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently

     

    Mobile money agents are now officially a thing of the past after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) banned all agent lines permanently. This means that EcoCash, OneMoney, and Telecash agent lines are no longer operational. This was announced by the central bank during today’s Monetary Policy Statement.

    The RBZ abolished the agent lines with immediate effect arguing that they no longer serve any purpose. They also alleged that the agent lines were being used for illicit financial transactions, primarily illegal foreign currency exchange transactions.

    An excerpt from the Monetary Policy Statement reads,

    Agent wallets are no longer serving any legitimate purpose and were now being used primarily for illegal foreign exchange transactions. Agents’ mobile money wallets are therefore abolished, with immediate effect.

    The monetary policy statement went on to state that all the agents who had their money frozen when the RBZ suspended all agent lines, will be allowed to move the money to their bank accounts. However, there is a caveat. The agents will only be able to reclaim their money once they have managed to satisfy the RBZ’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) that the funds have been legitimately earned. The monetary policy statement goes on to say,

    Agents currently holding value in suspended and frozen wallets shall be allowed to liquidate the funds to their bank accounts, upon the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) having satisfied itself of the legitimacy of the source
    of funds.

    RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently
    RBZ Bans All Agent Lines Permanently

     

    The central bank further explained that bulk payment services were being abused in that past and that going forward they are going to be regulated closely.

    Mobile money wallets have been barred from processing bulk payment transactions such as salaries and wages. Instead, these will be done through banks. Bulk payments will now be limited to low-value transactions and the disbursement of funds to poor and vulnerable members of society from humanitarian organizations – However, these will need to be approved by the central bank first.

    Another excerpt from the Monetary Policy Statement reads,

    Mobile payment operators have been turning a blind eye and have even actively encouraged the abuse of bulk payment wallets for illegal foreign currency transactions, thus earning lucrative transaction fees in the process.

    Going forward, bulk payment wallets will be approved by regulatory authorities for limited use, primarily for low-value transactions and humanitarian funds disbursements to vulnerable members of society.

    Any other bulk payment transactions, such as payment of salaries and wages, should be processed through normal banking channels.


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