Zimbabwe Court Bars Money Laundering Probe Of Telecoms Giant

Zimbabwe court bars money-laundering probe of telecoms giant


Zimbabwe’s High Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of the country’s top telecoms operator Econet Wireless and revoked a search warrant issued by the police over allegations of money laundering, the company spokesperson said.

Police issued the warrant last week as part of an investigation into suspected money laundering by the operator.

Investigators wanted Econet to disclose the details of its more than 10 million subscribers and records of all transactions conducted within the first half of 2020.

Company spokesman Fungai Mandiveyi confirmed local media reports that the warrant had been suspended by High Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore.

“I can confirm the development but will be able to comment on it after receiving full judgement,” Mandiveyi told AFP.

Econet filed papers to the High Court on Monday in which it called the warrant “unlawful” and a “violation of… privacy”.

It has denied all accusations of money laundering.

Zimbabwean state officials have blamed mobile money transfer platforms for galloping inflation that has wiped out savings and rendered basic goods unaffordable to most.

Last month, the government abruptly suspended mobile money transactions provided by telephone operators — the most widely used platform to make and receive payments in the crisis-ridden southern African country.

The services continued for daily individual transactions but were capped for commercial transactions.

The government also suspended trade on the country’s stock exchange, which it accused of being complicit in illicit financial activities.

Mobile money payments account for most electronic payment transactions in Zimbabwe, which is critically short of bank notes.




Zimbabwe Partially Lifts Ban On Big Game Hunting Around Cecil’s Park

cecil lionZimbabwe has partially lifted a ban on big-game hunting around Hwange National Park that was imposed after an international outcry over the killing of Cecil, the country’s most prized lion, by an American dentist last month.

The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Authority said in a statement seen by Reuters on Tuesday that the ban remained in place for two private game parks and rural communities near the park. In the areas where it has been rescinded, all lion, leopard and elephant hunts must be supervised by park staff.

Cecil, a rare black-maned lion, was killed on one of the farms adjacent to the park where the ban on big game hunts, first imposed on August 1, remains in force.

Authorities in Zimbabwe imposed the indefinite ban after it emerged that American hunter Walter Palmer had killed Cecil with a bow and arrow after, they say, his guides used bait to lure the big cat out of the park’s protective embrace.

“Individuals involved in illegal hunting activities are banned from hunting for life, as they tarnish the image of the hunting industry … Their actions border on economic sabotage,” the parks agency said in its statement.

A Zimbabwean court last week postponed until September 28 the trial of local hunter Theo Bronkhorst.

He is accused of failing to prevent Palmer from illegally killing Cecil, a 13-year-old lion which had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University study, and was a favorite with tourists visiting Hwange park.

Zimbabwe also wants Palmer, 55, extradited from the United States to face trial over Cecil’s death.