Harare(New Ziana) -The High Court on Wednesday set Friday as the date when it will hear the case in which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) ban on mobile money cash-in and cash-out services is being challenged.
Cassava Smartech, a subsidiary of Econet Zimbabwe, which owns the biggest mobile money company, Ecocash, is arguing that the ban is illegal.
On Monday, the central bank banned mobile money companies from providing cash deposits and withdrawal services, commonly referred to as cash-ins and cash-out, arguing that the facility was now being used to prop parallel market activities, with mobile money agents selling scarce bank notes at a premium to the disadvantage of citizens.
Mobile money agents were charging as much as 60 percent of the value of the money being withdrawn in order to get bank notes.
Ecocash, which has over 10 million mobile money users, challenged the embargo, and in an urgent application, asked the High Court to temporarily stop its implementation until its legality is determined.
Justice Alphas Chitakunye will preside over the matter, which has attracted keen interest from the public.
“Reference is made to the above matter brought on an urgent basis on October 1, 2019 and which has been set down for hearing on October 4, 2019 at 1430 before his Lordship Justice Chitakunye,” said the court in a statement.
Cassava Smartech, which has said the ban forces a “complete shutdown of the Ecocash platform”, is however pleading with the court for an earlier hearing.
“With each day passing, more than 10.5 million Zimbabweans who depend on Ecocash for their transactions are forced to suffer more and more prejudice.
“We therefore, respectfully implore his Lordship to reconsider the set down date by bringing it forward to a date earlier than October 4 2019, including anytime outside normal work hours,” it said.
The company says about US$20 billion and ZWL$13 billion has either been cashed-in or out since the facility was introduced in 2011.