Ecocash, the largest mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service in Zimbabwe has started blocking Agent Lines which are reportedly being used for illegal buying and selling of foreign currency.
The move is in compliance with a directive from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which orders the company to freeze the accounts.
A message that was sent on Friday to one of the Agents whose line was blocked read:
Dear Partner. Please be advised that we received a directive from Financial Intelligence Unit to bar your line. We have barred your line in compliance. Regards.
The freezing of these accounts is believed to be a strategy by the central bank to curb the runaway exchange rates which have seen the Zimbabwean dollar losing value against other currencies at an unparalleled rate.
Last year when the bank issued such a directive, the local currency regained value, only for a few days and then continued on a downward trend.
The local currency has been shedding value since its reintroduction in June last year when the government ditched the multicurrency system with some alluding the poor performance of the currency to lack of confidence in the government.