Desperate Zimbabweans Use Cell Phone Transfers to Get Cash
By Farai Mutsaka
After protests brought Zimbabwe’s capital to a standstill earlier this month, Harare has returned to its normal bustle and Tedius Marara is back to his daily business: selling cash at a busy market.
With inflation soaring and cash in short supply, many Zimbabweans transfer funds using their mobile phones and pay a premium to get currency. Marara is one of many cash vendors doing a roaring trade.
People huddle around his wooden stall, one eye on their mobile phone screens and another on a small counter brimming with coins.
“These are my banks nowadays,” said Mishy Tshuma, a customer referring to her mobile phone and the makeshift stall. To get cash, she has to pay Marara on a transfer by her phone and pay a hefty premium.
And in a country where cash is king, she has little choice but to pay the extra amount.
Photo courtesy of ICT4D.at.