By Staff Writer
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has given in to pressure from citizens to allow money transfer agencies (MTAs) to operate during the ongoing 21-day lockdown which started on the 30th of March to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Money transfer agencies had been barred from operating as they had been regarded as not part of essential services despite the fact that millions of Zimbabweans depend on remittances from relatives and family members who are in the diaspora.
However, due to pressure from citizens who were facing the possibility running out of supplies due to lack of resources, the RBZ announced that MTAs are now allowed to operate though for a limited number of days and time.
“MTAs with branches operating in retail outlets shall with effect from Wednesday 8th April operate within the timelines prescribed for opening of retail shops; and MTAs owned by banks and those with own banking halls and branches outside banks and retail outlets or shops, shall open for business three times a week, that is on Tuesday to Thursday, between 0900 and 1500hrs,” said RBZ chief John Mangudya in a statement.
“The decision in respect of the extension of the above services is to allow for the receipt of foreign currency remittances which cannot be transacted on any digital or electronic platform.”
According to statistic, Zimbabwe received more than US$505 million in international remittances from January to June 2019.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), diaspora remittances are household incomes from foreign economies arising mainly from the temporary or permanent movement of people to those economies. Get all COVID-19 statistics for Zimbabwe from COVID-TRACKER