Reserve bank reinstates electronic transfers

By Violet Gonda
13 November 2008

Every day Zimbabweans are waking up to more confusion, as the economy goes into complete meltdown. But businesses and customers were given some sort of relief when the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced it was reinstating electronic transfers on Thursday.

The central bank said it has restored the facility conditionally, and it was dependent on the behaviour of the banks. The RBZ said it had removed the electronic transfer system because of allegedly criminal behaviour amongst the banks and customers.

However economist John Robertson said it’s believed that this was not the main reason the facility was removed by the RBZ, but that it was caused by something that the central bank is not admitting to ‘which might have been a software licensing agreement that they had failed to pay for.’

Although he said the re-instatement of the system will make transactions for banks, businesses and customers easier, he says it was a big mistake to remove the use of the RTGS in the first place.

Robertson said: “The situation itself was very damaged and in easing the situation they have actually fixed nothing. The country still remains very, very severely under pressure from the massive scarcity of not only foreign currency, but also local currency.”

The highly respected Cato institute has said that as of 7th November, Zimbabwe’s annual inflation rate was 516 Quintillion percent.

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