Zimbabwe: Mnangagwa Directs Money Transfer Agencies to Reopen

President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has directed that Money Transfer Agencies (MTA) must reopen with immediate effect to address cash challenges as more people now depend on outside remittances after the closure of the informal sector during the 21-day national lockdown.

"In view of the ongoing COVID-19-related national lockdown, and following concerns from users of money transfer services, I have now directed the governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to immediately address constraints around this essential service," the president said in a statement.

Mnangagwa said due to the national lockdown, many households now depended on support from their relatives living abroad.

"The new environment arising from the National Lockdown has increased our people's dependence on remittances, which also have added advantage of reaching directly the most marginalised members of our nation," Mnangagwa said in a statement Monday.

"Because of the necessary National Lockdown, livelihoods in the informal sector have been disrupted, thus forcing many households to depend on the support from their loved ones abroad."

Responding to Mnangagwa's directive, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya said the MTAs would start operating from Wednesday this week.

"Money Transfer Agencies (MTAs) with branches operating in retail outlets shall, with effect from Wednesday the 8th April 2020, operate daily within the timelines prescribed for opening of retail outlets or shops," he said.

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