Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe accuses Ecocash of operating a Ponzi scheme


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A Ponzi scheme is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors, according to Wikipedia. The scheme leads victims to believe that profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of funds.

It describes shadow banking as a system where non-bank financial intermediaries provide services similar to traditional commercial banks but outside normal banking regulations.

Former Econet chairman Tawanda Nyambirai said if anyone was operating a Ponzi Scheme, it was the central bank.

“Investigate first before shooting your masters in the foot! The Ponzi scheme  we know in Zim is the RBZ taking USD from people in Exchange for Bondnotes and then making the USD disappear leaving the entire population holding onto useless toilet paper they call zw$,” he tweeted.

Samson Tewayi added: “If you are saying Ecocash is a ponzi scheme, then Gvt overdrafts with the RBZ is  ponzi , Zim stock exchange, the Gvt bonds. all its fake money. Do not point fingers to Ecocash. RBZ is rotten to the core. There is a need for thorough audit there.”

One reader, however, wondered why Ecocash had not acted on the agents after noticing their suspicious transactions.

“In my opinion, if Ecocash noted an agent had suspicious and impro(per) transactions for an honest actor, they also could have acted and shutdown the line themselves. As long as the agent is in violation of their terms and conditions of operation,” the reader said.

“RBZ may have not responded to their reports, but as Ecocash indicated even they found one of the agents cited to be very suspicious, but chose to let them operate on a flimsy excuse that RBZ never responded.

“If you loiter in a shop/bank you will be asked to leave, even if you haven’t stolen anything. Because right of admission can be reserved.  Shops/Banks act quickly because it’s their stock/money that’s at risk of being stolen. Ecocash stands to benefit from illicit cash flows, so it doesn’t suspend agents, it just files reports and counts is profits.”

Although it is Ecocash that took the central bank to court, some people are already accusing the bank, and the government, of trying to squeeze Masiyiwa out to boost Onemoney which is owned by the government owned mobile network operator Netone.

“This government instead of fighting covid they are busy fighting Ecocash already forgetting the mother who helped them with ventilators, vaya for doctors  to go to work and who is even paying for doctors after they have failed themselves,” one going by the twitter name of Nashe said.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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