Zimbabwe: President Issues Directive On Money Transfer Services

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has been directed to ensure that money transfer service systems are working efficiently and are accessible to the public, especially for processing of financial international remittances.

In a statement last night, President Mnangagwa said it was important for the banking sector to adapt their operations to the emergency situation spawned by the national lockdown designed to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The President's directive comes at a time when people were struggling to access Diaspora remittances from relatives abroad.

"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 (Dr John Mangudya) to immediately address constraints around this essential financial service," he said.

"The environment arising from the national lockdown has increased our people's dependence on remittances, which also have the added advantage of reaching directly the most marginalised members of our nation.

"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. It is thus critical for our financial service institutions to adapt their operations to the new emergency situation."

International remittances are important in improving Zimbabwe's foreign currency position.

Zimbabwe received US$635 million in Diaspora remittances last year, up 2,6 percent from US$619 million that came through in 2018.

President Mnangagwa paid tribute to citizens abroad who continue to demonstrate abundant compassion by assisting their families back home through various interventions, including financial remittances.

He also saluted Zimbabweans for exercising self-discipline during the national lockdown, adding that the road to completing the 21-day national lockdown was long, but necessary.

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