National Payment Directives affecting Small Medium Enterprise Daily Transactions

The Government of Zimbabwe’s directive for all Mobile Money Service Providers to suspend Cash in, Cash out and Cash back facilities has negatively affected transactions of the Informal Traders and Small and Medium enterprises. The directive which was issued in respect to section 10 of the National Payment Systems Act was enacted supposedly to curb illegal activities by EcoCash agents who were being accused of wantonly abusing Cash in and Cash back facilities. It is our view as VISET that, the National Payment Systems Act is noble as it seeks to protect citizens from unscrupulous agents and as Informal sector players, we embrace all interventions that seek foster a fair and corruption free society. However, we have serious problems with the manner in which these directives are issued or actualised by the Government of Zimbabwe. The impromptu adoption of policies with no effort to consult those that will be affected is both primitive and undemocratic.

As the informal sector, we also appreciate the existence of other banking transaction system in the form of Real Time Gross Settlement, ZIPIT and other forms of payments. However, although we have these facilities, it is difficult for informal traders in general and street vendors in particular to use these platforms as most of our fresh fruit and vegetable restocking suppliers are from rural areas. As VISET, we call upon the government to proffer substitute transacting methods that will not affect our day to day business. Its worrisome for fruit and vegetables vendors to bear loses because of an impromptu order from the authorities. Apart from government, we call also for Econet and other players in the mobile money transaction to whip and check their agents dotted all over Zimbabwe to abide by the transaction commission rules and regulations and respect of valued customers savings.

Source: Vendors Initiative for Social and Economic Transformation (VISET)