Central bank has ordered Simbisa Brands to cease operating its money transfer portfolio, InnBucks in the earliest signs President Emmerson Mnangagwa was keen on getting even with a firm he recently singled out for allegedly sabotaging the local currency.
In a statement Wednesday, RBZ governor John Mangudya ordered Simbisa Brands, a subsidiary of Innscor Africa, to stop with “immediate effect” operating the money transfer agency on the ostensible reason the service did not meet RBZ requirements.
“The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (the Bank) advises the public that it has ordered Simbisa Brands (Private) Ltd, to cease operating the money transfer service branded or styled InnBucks, with immediate effect,” said the central bank chief.
“In November 2021, the Bank directed InnBucks to apply for and obtain necessary approvals in order to continue offering the service.
“To date, the company has not yet regularised the service as directed, hence the inevitable regulatory intervention by the Bank.”
Mangudya added, “The cessation of the service means that customers shall no longer be able to deposit funds into the InnBucks account or transfer the funds to third parties.
“However, customers may redeem their balances for cash or goods at Simbisa Brands ((Private) Ltd outlets within a period of 30 days from date of this press statement.”
Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters in Muzvezve constituency Thursday, Mnangagwa singled out Innscor for sabotaging the Zim-dollar.
“We are saying to our industrialists such as Innscor, that any investor who comes into the country should buy whatever he wants in Zimbabwe dollars,” he said.
Innscor, which runs food outlets such as Chicken Inn and Bakers Inn was among the first local businesses to charge their products in US dollars after the local currency went on a free-fall past couple of years.
Added Mnangagwa, “We are putting measures to make sure that we deal once and for all with companies that are manipulating the local currency.
“We also have locals who are indiscriminately raising prices, punishing the people but we are going to put measures that will ensure that our currency will be sought after and that the US dollar doesn’t dominate.”