Press Statements

Press statement on proposed use of one money mobile transfare in the cushioning fund

The Informal Economy Agenda Task Force acknowledges efforts being made by government and development partners to assist vulnerable groups including our constituency vendors and informal traders to curb impact of the #COVID19 lockdown. We are however deeply concerned and taken aback by the statement from the Minister of Women Affairs, SMEs and Community Development Sithembiso Nyoni that says that government wants to use Netone – One Money mobile facility to disburse the Cushioning Fund cash transfers. We unequivocally reject this move because it will short change a lot of vendors and informal traders, based on available statistics that the majority of our membership use the Ecocash mobile facility. It boggles the mind why funds donated by development partners are being channelled to one money mobile transfer agent at the expense other transfer agent like Telecash and Ecocash. This raises eye brows on sincerity of government to urgently assist all vulnerable groups including vendors and informal traders in the earliest convenience. We strongly call upon development partners who made these contribution to urgently step in and advise the ministry that their strategy will hurt ordinary men and women who are not subscribers to the government preferred Netone- One Money mobile transfer agent. We would like also to state that when the local authorities communicated with Informal Traders Associations about the proposed World Bank cushioning fund facility they never stated that the facility will only support those registered with the One Money mobile Transfer. We are ready to provide empirical data to show that majority of our members are subscribed to the Ecocash money mobile transfer facility. We urge government not to inconvenience the vulnerable at this already difficult period. We are also shocked by statements made by Women Affairs, Small to Medium Enterprises and Community Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni who justified imposing NetOne whilst it is popular knowledge that many people use Ecocash in Zimbabwe and that the One Money mobile in inaccessible to a number of rural communities. Our considered view is that it is illogical to suggest that people must at this lockdown period, to spend their few savings by going to register with Netone instead of using what is already available, it renders this whole initiative that appeared inclusive and driven by human interests at the beginning to a charade. We also call upon Ecocash to be considerate at this difficult period and reduce their tariffs to ensure that vulnerable groups have disposable incomes from this cushioning facility.

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