Zinwa tightens screws on RTGS transactions

Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga confirmed that a directive had been issued.

THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has issued a directive limiting Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) card payments by its clients to one account.

According to a source at Zinwa, the authority issued the directive last year through an email to its branches, which has triggered speculation that the water authority is indirectly pushing for dollarisation having been swamped with RTGS deposits which are losing valve each day.

Last year, the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency indicated that Zimbabwe’s economy had 78% dollarised on food purchases, which observers believe is pushing organisations such as Zinwa to also pine for foreign currency in transactions to remain viable.

“We received an email from the Headquarters instructing us to only allow one card thus either swipe or Ecocash to make payment for a single account,” the Zinwa source said.

“We were not given any explanation as to why the HQ (headquarters) had enforced such a directive, but I suspect it had everything to do with money collection. Most payments were being made in local currency with little to no transactions being made in USD due to disparities between the interbank rate and the black market rate.

“We are against the directive. It’s creating unnecessary paperwork for us, yet making it difficult for locals to pay their bills.”

Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga confirmed that a directive had been issued.

She however, said: “The Authority did not, at any time, bar clients from making payments using their bank cards, but instead restricted the usage of bank cards to one account in compliance and observance of the National Payments Systems Act, which prohibits third-party payments,” she said.

“In that regard, Zinwa only barred clients from using multiple bank cards to pay for one account and from using one card to make payments for multiple accounts.

“In instances where genuine cause existed, such as when a client owns more than one account or where tenants took turns to pay their water bill, Zinwa staff were empowered to exercise discretion under the auspices of the Know Your Customer principle, which also permissible under the Act.

“Even in the face of the directive, clients could still make payments in the currency of their choice and have their bills denominated in the local currency. Clients remain able to make payments using mobile platforms such as OneMoney and Ecocash in addition to the use of bank cards and other payment platforms.”

Zinwa, created through the Zinwa Act as part of the government’s efforts to reform the country’s water sector, is a wholly State-owned entity tasked with managing the country’s water resources.

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