Foreign currency shortages worsen

HARARE - The country’s foreign currency shortage crisis is worsening, with more banks stopping payments to Multichoice, Africa’s largest pay-TV company.

This also comes as e-wallet payment system, Ecocash, run by mobile firm Econet Wireless, suspended international transactions on its MasterCard debit card, citing scarcity of forex, in a grim sign that dollar shortages were intensifying.

Zimbabwe's biggest banking group CBZ Holdings yesterday said it was suspending payments for DStv, which has become a major alternative to the soporific menu of ZBC TV.

The commercial bank advised its customers of the new development through an SMS.

“Dear Valued Client. We advise that DStv Payment Option will no longer be available on CBZ Touch from 11.10.17. Our apologies for the inconvenience caused,” read the terse message.

CBZ joins several local banks that have suspended payments to DStv citing unavailability of foreign currency.

The suspension of DStv payments is also in compliance with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) priority list which guides the execution of all foreign payments for all authorised forex dealers in Zimbabwe.

Meanwhile, Ecocash advised it had suspended international transactions on its MasterCard debit card.

In a message to its clients yesterday, it said the development had been necessitated by the prevailing foreign currency challenges.

“We regret to advise that with immediate effect, Ecocash will be suspending international transactions on the debit card. However, with effect from 1 November 2017, we are happy to advise that you will be able transact with the debit card outside Zimbabwe upon prefunding your card at your nearest Econet shop.

“The card remains in use within Zimbabwe as all local limits remain unchanged. We apologise for any inconveniences caused, which unfortunately are beyond our control,” read the Ecocash message.

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