Masiyiwa On EcoCash Agents Selling Cash, “Whose Cash Are Agents Selling?

Tinashe Nyahasha Avatar
Zimbabwe Hyperinflation money changer dealer forex trader, SI 127, Statutory Instrument 127 of 2021

The issue of EcoCash agents selling cash has been topical lately. Some are issuing out ultimatums and even a cabinet minister is threatening the EcoCash CEO with arrest. Arrest for what is the question. The anti-corruption commission has called this corruption. Really?

Strive Masiyiwa has given his thoughts to this whole fiasco as he responded to one of his followers on Facebook. Here’s the full excerpt:

Liveit L Ndlovu writes, US$1:$12 bond cash,and US$1:$20 eco cash.
Ecocash agents are charging 60%.
I think it’s time to act on that issue Sir

My reply,
We cannot solve a problem, until we first understand it:

1, EcoCash is not a currency. It is simply a mechanism that money moves through.

You don’t dig up a road, simply because a thief came on a road!
EcoCash is just a road for money, it is not the money!

EcoCash does not have any money. The Cash [bank notes] money belongs to the agent.

Ecocash does not print money, either physical or electronic.

That is done by the RBZ. They decide how much bank notes are in circulation. If there are not enough, then they must supply them, until there is enough supply.

2. Why is there such a shortage of bank notes in the first place, that it becomes possible to sell bank notes?!

Where in the world does that happen?!

Give me a break my friend, you are smarter than that!

Who created such an arbitrage situation?

3. Whose cash is the Agent selling, at that rate?!

4. How does Econet police 50,000 agents?

Who can do it?
No one, because that is not the problem.
Ask the RBZ to address the supply of these bank notes, if you believe that is the problem.

What if we stopped them all from dispensing any cash, would it solve the problem?
Why do the banks not dispense cash like banks around the world?

5. If the State withdrew its electronic money that moves through EcoCash, and replaced it with physical notes, would it solve the problem?

6. When an Agent sells his money at 50% premium, does he share the upside with EcoCash?

Of course not!

If you show me that anyone at EcoCash is involved and benefitting, that is another issue. But that is not what is happening!

Let’s first understand the problem:
This is simply symptomatic of hyper inflation. In case you have not realized Zimbabwe has the highest hyper inflation in the world right now!

If you address the causes of hyper inflation, this problem disappears.


What’s your take?

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  1. Njanji

    It’s an undeniable fact that Ecocash has actually become a currency in Zimbabwe.
    It’s the unofficial Zim dollar.
    Mr Masiiwa should not be naive and pretend that he is not aware that the platform is being abused and tell us Econet is not benefiting from this.
    Ecocash is literally controlling the economics of trade in Zimbabwe.
    Ecocash is the current Zim dollar no need to be shy on that

    1. Mthuli

      No one is forcing to get cash from Ecocash agents, you might as well go to your bank.

    2. Mthuli

      No one is forcing to get cash from Ecocash agents, you might as well go to your bank.

    3. Anonymous

      If an Ecocash agent sells money, how does Ecocash benefit from the premium charged for the bank notes?

    4. Roe

      The biggest beneficiery is the gvt they are getting 2% for what? . Tbey dont want to print money so that can continhe to tax the poor Zimbabweans. See how Mthuli is will to go agasinst the judgement to protect the 2%

    5. Shingi

      Ecocash is literally controlling the economics of trade in Zimbabwe.
      Ecocash is the current Zim dollar no need to be shy on that
      Saka unoenderei panaagent worohwa 60 percent .why not use it as it is.

  2. Totem Network

    Ecocash tori mari pachayo, kana yakava offline the whole business in Zim comes to a stand still

  3. Totem Network

    Ecocash itori mari pacahayo, if the system is offline, the country comes to a stand still

  4. Valentine

    What Masiyiwa is saying makes sense, if you try to answer those questions. Ngatigadzirise chaita musoro uteme!


      exactly, you nailed it

  5. Gibson

    People they can’t face their government but sika sika nemunhu asina mhosva. Endai Kuna Mangudya mumuudze kuti agadzirise money supply issue

    1. Adrian


  6. Kas

    ecocash ndiyo Mari iriku loser value hence the premiums from it’s agents. How can it not be currency when I transact using ecocash transfer. even the monetary policy acknowledges that transfer or emoney are synonymous. Apa mkuru vakuda kunzwa tsumo. Gudo guru peta muswe

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Is Western Union a currency? Dzikamai…


      eccocash is a wallet, similar to a pocket wallet or any bank card….i think you’re confusing.

      no offence

    3. Anonymous

      Vakuru makadzidzepi?

    4. Anonymous

      Vakuru makadzidzepi? imi vanozviti Kays? Ecocash is a wallet. If your wallet is now cash as you imply then shandisa your physical wallet to be money.

  7. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

    He raises several valid points.

    Regardless, EcoCash is a road for money that makes it easy for thieves to travel. And, as the toll fee collector, they may not own or have caused the traffic, but they can’t deny that they are benefitting from these nefarious travellers.

    That said, the economic downturn has those who should bear it’s cross. Unfortunately, they are masters at disinformation and assigning blame.

  8. Llodza

    No wonder we have problems or have the government turning us against each other for its transgressions. Econet is like someone who is sent with a letter of proposition to a lady or who is a go between two lovers. When the lady gets impregnated do we accuse the guy who delivered messages?
    Go to the RBZ and the government!


      can someone buy him a cup of coffee

    2. Pam

      Well put

  9. wokenman

    Ayewa he’s being disingenuous. The money ecocash agents are meant to cash out IS MEANT TO come from moneys that get cashed IN. Saka it’s not econet’s money they are selling, fair and fine, but econet knows kuti how much a line SHOULD be giving out in relation to what they actually received coming in. It should therefore be clear as day that the numbers don’t match but they turn a blind eye. You are basically allowing agents to create non existent money and eating the transfer charges made from that newly created money.

    1. Emily Waniwa

      I totally agree.Its cash in cash out so I think they should be able to monitor that as well.The issue of money supply is an issue but the issue at hand of agents should be concurrently tackled.We cant just let it loose like that..We deal with root cause and symptoms at the same time when treating problems.

    2. Emily

      I totally agree.Its cash in cash out so I think they should be able to monitor that as well.The issue of money supply is an issue but the issue at hand of agents should be concurrently tackled.We cant just let it loose like that..We deal with root cause and symptoms at the same time when treating problems.

    3. TheRealWokenMan

      Remeber you use an agent code to buy the cash,it is like buying an item from their shop. Does Econet know the price of the item you bought.You are buying cash the same way you buy a piece of clothing.There is no limit as to how much a shop can sell per day,therefore there is also no limit as to how much money a shop can get via the agent code.

  10. Always Off topic

    It is funny , some time ago these guys (Strive and a click of some high profile individuals) were out there trying to raise ED’s profile, going on about sanctions and what not. Today the same government they were defending is throwing them (Econet) under the bus, in classic Zanu style.
    Quite frankly i donot feel any sympathy for Strive and his Econet , they should know better. I have said it many times before, “you lay with dogs ,you wake up with fleas”.
    ED is genuine ?? If he was, Mangudya and his team would have been fired a long time ago.

    1. Eleanor Mtangi

      You’re spot on. I couldn’t agree with you more that Mangudya should be history by now. He has nothing new to offer. He was governor of RBZ during Mugabe’s failed regime. One cannot to do the same thing over and over again and expect to get a different result. That’s insanity. We are sick and tired of being led by people who concern themselves with what type of car they are driving instead of thinking of investing in new technologies to advance our economy.

  11. dr solomon

    Do not be too academic about this. Just do not ask for the money from an agent. Ask it directly from the bank. You must remember mobile money licence is issued to a bank. Go to the source and get your money Have you forgotten where your bank is? When did they last give you cash? Which ATM dispenses cash? How come in any country around the world cash is dispensed, including first world economies. This madness is about ensuring you pay 2% for every transaction for Ncube’s benefit. Remove that alone and you start saving 2% of what is in your wallet and there is a multiplier effect. How can you not understand that 100-2%=98, same amount in cash stays the same. Now follow that $100 through several payments in a month and find out how much one is left after say it changes hands 20 times as Ecocash and as cash.The two are NOT the same, so please insist that cash is made available so that Ecocash is only for odd emergencies and everything will stabilize.

  12. dr solomon

    Ecocash was supposed to be CASH IN one corner of the country and someone CASHOUT the other side. In between the cash is in trust account, safe. Now, due to banks falling behind in tech and not being able to be everywhere like EcoCash, customers figured out they could do Bank to Wallet, then go and CashOut if they really needed cash. So if indeed you have cashed in, you have every reason to expect roughly same rate at cash out. However is you have just transferred a fictitious RTGS balance to Ecocash to cheat yourself into real cash which your bank cannot give you, which is the norm I would imagine, expect to get nothing or reduced value at Ecocash end, economically speaking. Others who do not want facts can harp on and on but you cannot create something out of nothing so be real, ask the RBZ to ensure people get their money’s worth of balances, and Ncube does not cause this rapid inflation eating away at your inheritance.

    1. Matinari#

      Wagona apa

  13. Anonymous

    Where are the agents getting the money since banks are not giving that enough?What rate are the agents being charged to get the cash they would sale later? Like any other common business Ecocash is just in business,remember we never had such percentages in the past,so it’s important to address the problem for these charged percentages are just signs of a problem.

    1. Sjb

      The general public, those with acces to cash one way or another, are the source of those funds, we are willing to cash-in our money at a premium because it gives us extra buying power. As long as we sell cash to agents when we have excess they will continually sell it back to us at a margin when we are in deficit.

  14. Tichaona

    Guys RBZ is the responsible authority for ensuring that Zimbabweans get enough ZW$ bond notes to trade in the market. No company, bank nor NGO is responsible for that. When inflation is sky-rocketing this means many more notes need to be printed if they are not printed there will be a notes shortage. How individual traders respond to the shortage is only a symptom not the root cause.


      if bank notes flood the system then we will be time-travelling back to 2007/8.

      1. The Principal

        Partly correct. The proper way of doing it is to print money, give it to banks (dollar for dollar) in exchange for RTGS balances eg RBZ gives bank X one million in notes, the bank transfers 1 million rtgs to RBZ. Overall, the money in circulation remains the same.

  15. Mazvihwa

    Saka ingovharai Ecocash yacho so that government wakes up. We all need ecocash but this madness must stop

    1. mbiru we shambochena

      Eco cash is a quicker electronic way of transferring money between bank accounts of your own accounts and those of others. In other countries it works so well. Money is available in banks if one wishes to withdraw from their accounts.
      world remit money gram WU mukuru all have their charges for their services as a business for providing that service. In this instance the government of Zimbabwe introduced the 2% tax as way of collecting revenue since there is no meaningful banking in Zimbabwe. One cannot bank a salary of 400 dollars when their needs are greater than that. Hence.a lot of bank accounts have become dysfunctional because they also bank charges for their services.

      Now when ecocash was introduced it was not to steal but it was innovation for econet.when the innovation became popular some thieves made an analysis and introduced a 2 %tax with each eloctronic transaction whether 1000 dollars or 5 dollars has been transferred. Now the banks are on the streets. Then let’s ask ourselves who supplies bank notes to those roadside banks and eco cash vendor’s? If eco cash name is being used for personal gain of that vender
      then Mr Masiiwa should act to exonerate himself because all these rogue ecocash vendors register with his company to earn a living . It’s very easy for the government to control that in a day even to prevent hard cash leaving the all needs integrity and rule of law.for the man time it’s free for all

  16. new hog

    is western union a currency kana kuti Mukuru…ecocash is jus like them. .nothing more nothing less, RBZ does not want to supply the nation with money..they enjoy taxing us as we transact on electronic platforms and then sell us the cash at a premium, away with these old hogs.

  17. Kaviyaviya

    Still waiting for real local currency. Rtgs or bond notes is no currency

  18. Anonymous

    Ecocash, Mukuru, Western Union etc are all money transmission platforms that transfer money and all must have robust anti-money laundering systems in place as a prerequisite for licensing. Ecocash are obviously not abiding to those regulations and are allowing financial crimes to happen on their watch while absolving themselves! Really Mr. Masiyiwa!! If your agent network has become too big for you to manage then its time for your license to go also. These crimes have to stop immediately and Ecocash have to lead the fight or GO!! They are not good for us!