Crackdown on Mobile Money hits Zimbabwe’s Poor
Every day for weeks on end, Samantha Murozoki has made sure that the poorest citizens of Harare’s Chitungwiza suburb have had something to eat, despite the turmoil of Zimbabwe’s pandemic lockdown and economic collapse.
Ms Murozoki and other volunteers at the soup kitchen provide meals for thousands in the southern African nation’s capital, where hunger was rife even before the virus, inflation is over 700 per cent, and the Zimbabwe dollar has lost almost all of its value just one year after it became the country’s only legal tender.
Restrictions introduced at the end of June on Ecocash, the country’s mobile-money monopoly, by the government of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have affected millions like Ms Murozoki for whom the platform has all but replaced the hard cash that has vanished in shortages caused by the crisis.
Photo courtesy of Kay McGowan / USAID.