Govt defends suspension of ZSE
Harare (New Ziana) – The suspension of trade on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and closure of mobile money bulk payment platforms over alleged economic sabotage is a step in the right direction towards ensuring a strengthened regulatory environment, a Cabinet Minister has said.
The local bourse and mobile money platforms, Ecocash, One Money, Telecash and My cash stand accused of being used as conduits of economic sabotage.
The ZSE, for example, was accused of harbouring fake counters that were using the Old Mutual Implied Exchange Rate in conducting their business, thereby promoting the existence of many exchange rates in the economy.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the ZSE would only resume trading once investigations into the alleged malpractices were complete.
“There was some suspicion of illicit financial movements including money laundering but these need to be proven, that is why there is the special forensic audit before anyone is accused personally of any wrongdoing,” he said.
“We want to ensure that we strengthen our regulatory environment, our intervention really has to do with that, strengthening the regulatory environment so that we can give even more comfort to those that want to invest in our country that Zimbabwe is open for business and for very good and well regulated businesses.”
Asked if the suspension of the ZSE would not impact negatively the Zimbabwe is Open for Business agenda, Ncube said: “Zimbabwe is open for business, but is not open for money laundering and illicit financial flows. So what you saw was a regulatory intervention to investigate and try to understand the prima-facie evidence.”
He assured investors that their investments were safe.
“The stock market is not opened on Saturday, it is not opened on Sunday, it is not opened during Christmas time, so is it the case that when it is closed (over such periods) investments are insecure? No definitely not, so it will not be different this time around while the stock exchange is suspended it is very similar to a very long weekend and when that weekend ends we will begin to trade where we left,” he said.
Adding on, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said investigations into the allegations would be carried out swiftly.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is working tirelessly to ensure that investigations into the operations of the agent and bulk payer accounts are quickly concluded thereby minimising disruptions and inconvenience to the mobile money users,” she said.