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Death knell for Homelink

Shakeman Mugari

RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono’s attempt to curb abuse of the Homelink facility by forcing Zimbabweans to receive money from the diaspora only in local currency could be the d

eath knell for the system, analysts have warned.

They said the move was likely to discourage Zimbabweans in the diaspora from sending money through Homelink – government’s official money transfer initiative.

In a bid to stop foreign currency leakages into the parallel market, Gono said all proceeds from money transfer agencies (MTAs) under Homelink would be paid in local currency. Previously locals had the choice of receiving their money in Zimbabwean dollars or in hard currency.

“With immediate effect therefore, all receipts under the Homelink channel will be converted to local currency at the diaspora rate of $5 600, or the auction rate, whichever is higher and no payments shall be given out in foreign currency,” Gono said.

The move, analysts said, would cause a drastic reduction in foreign currency inflows from people living abroad.

They said this could herald the death of the Homelink programme.

* Tetrad

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