Zimbabweans blow $206 million on DSTV subscriptions


Business Editor
RESERVE Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya yesterday expressed shock that Zimbabweans blew a total of $206,7 million on DSTV subscriptions paid through nostro accounts between July and December 2016.

This brings the nation’s priorities to question at a time when the country is experiencing a crippling foreign exchange shortage with the productive sector struggling to meet foreign payment obligations to different suppliers.

In his 2017 Monetary Policy Statement the central bank chief said the $206,7 million “should have been settled locally and thus preserve foreign exchange for raw materials and other foreign payments that include education”.

He reported that DSTV card transactions – which require pre-funding of nostro accounts – were the second largest user (after fuel) of foreign exchange during the second half of the year.

“Use of hard earned foreign currency in this manner is not sustainable for the economy,” he  said.

Dr Mangudya called on market players, especially banks, to exercise discipline and rationality in the distribution of foreign exchange among the competing needs of the economy.

“Spending more foreign exchange on DSTV subscriptions than on raw materials to produce cooking oil, for example, is not only counter-productive but also illogical,” said Dr Mangudya.

“Similarly, Zimbabweans’ appetite to externalise foreign exchange to foreign banks puts unnecessary pressure on the country’s balance of payments.”

He said the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), a bank for central banks, has reported that deposits held by Zimbabweans in offshore accounts stand at above $600 million.

Dr Mangudya, however, said statistics of deposits held by Zimbabweans at other banks that do not report to BIS were unknown.

“Externalisation or capital flight of this nature, which may be attributable to the use of mobile capital (foreign currency) as a medium of exchange and the lack of confidence within the domestic economy, has a net effect of robbing the country of its hard-earned foreign exchange and deprives the country of jobs and growth in output.

“This calls for greater introspection among those involved in this practice in order to bring back jobs,” he said.

The Governor said preservation of foreign exchange in nostro accounts by enforcing market and institutional discipline and domesticating the settlement of local card transactions on international card switches was crucial.

“This measure has been necessitated by the need to ensure that nostro accounts are used for foreign payments and that domestic transactions are settled locally through platforms such as RTGS, ZimSwitch, VISA, Mastercard, local mobile banking and/or cash and bond notes.

“Utilising nostro accounts to settle domestic transactions put unnecessary pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves that should ideally be used for international or offshore payments,” he said.

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  • Cetshwayo

    Can’t blame people, who would have confidence in an economy run by a 93 year old man who cannot barely walk

  • Only me

    Blame it on Z TV

  • Thabs

    I’d blow everything on SA products and holidays.

  • Ghost of Sparta

    So this idiot wants us to watch ZBC? He is an imbecile. I will use my money for DSTV, whether he likes it or not. Just wait and see; banks will be ordered not to accept DSTV payments very soon. Manje, we will pay with cash in Messina.

    • Masekwameng

      Good point. Or we can make arrangements boet, I pay for you here in SA and you send my grandma in Nkayi the equivalent bonds via Ecocash kkkk.

      • Wellington

        vele lakanjani and this one has been working wonders of late

  • we the people

    so this guy doesn’t have DSTV in his own house? or he means the rest of Zimbabwe must not have dstv. if i remember correctly Multichoice approached the government to open in Zimbabwe initially before they opened in South Africa but certain government officials demanded kick backs if DSTV was to open its doors in Zimbabwe. We were the country of choice for Multichoice but one person can destroy everything for an entire country due to greed…

    • Masekwameng

      I remember it too well. If they had agreed, by now we could have been the DSTV powerhouse with all the subscriptions from other countries

    • Wellington

      and recently they blocked Strive’s kwese tv also

    • vusumuzi

      Hawu , they did approach us first, i ZANU yaba blocker , msila yaboyise !!! Same with Cocacola. we were the Southern African HO before amanyala abo then Cocacola moved to RSA. Thats why RSA likes Zim, Zim offloads its best to RSA, both human and material and intellectual . Abafundanga kodwa bahlakaniphile

  • Lux

    I bet he has dstv, no one will stop me from watching dstv, blame it on the pathetically run zbc that has perpetually shown us kuck from time memorial!

  • koka

    problem with zanu politics and govt, why should the population sacrifice just for zanu fat cats to enjoy the sacrifices of the majority. these people forget that they were elected by the people and are the servants of the people. the money belongs to the people and the people can do as they please with their hard earned money. zanu still can’t believe that the one party state idea and communism are long dead. they still want to treat people like what used to happened in communist countries. more reason why we should get rid of this obsolete party come 2018.

    • Tadubana

      When Chiyangwa bought his Transformer did the RBZ Governor complain in the press or on any of his monetary policies??? the answer is a big NO!!! So us the POVO shld languish in poverty at the expense of the ‘chosen ones’.

      • Masekwameng

        And why did the RBZ not raise the red flag when one couple bought a ring for $1.5 million kkkiiii

  • Mkhusto

    Dstv Zimbabwe should consider reducing tariffs then

    • vusumuzi

      udakiwe fuseki !!!!.

  • Ziyabheda

    This analysis suggests that close to half a billion usd is used on DSTV a year. If this much was spent locally,then the savings would go a long way towards addressing other more pressing issues. This is a loud statement to ZBC that monopolistic tendencies can cost the economy dearly. Free the airwaves and allow local talent to express itself in its diversity and let us see whether we will continue to spend so much on this imported entertainment.

  • Kuzekubeninimadoda Mabhena

    mangudya is totally off line. this is not of economic calamity. the money in question resembles crying that your 7 year old son spent his 50 cents on sweets instead of buying amathumbu or books etc. the amount is insignificant for a governor to stand before people (useless people anyway) and waste his time. He should drink coffee or kiss his wife for a belated Valentine if he has nothing significant to tell the nation.

  • Tadubana

    As if he doesnt subscribe to DSTV himself. This is hypocritical of the Governor. Let he who has never sinned cast the 1st stone!!!! Nxa!!!

  • Wellington

    so what are you going to do Mr Governor and your Boss Chinaman, ban dstv in zimbabwe? hanti yo bosses blocked kwese tv a homegrown programme that was going to create employment and revenue for them to steal for that matter

  • Mbilazibomvu

    First disconnect your own Mr Governor and tell all the ministers and the President to do the same. Also open the airwaves, you blocked Kwese TV and other home grown trying to force people to ZBC propaganda. Vuka emaqandeni John.

    • Cash Baron

      You are right, these idiots incapable of never linking the dots. PhD by the trunk load to what end?

    • Cash Baron

      You are right, these idiots incapable of never linking the dots. PhD by the trunk load to what end?

  • Heraldo Tinhadzirwe

    Subscribe for us sir, will vote for you twice.

  • Kds

    The problem with these greedy bigwigs they want everything for themselves and only for themselves to enjoy and the ordinary people must not have anything .
    How can one talk of the preservation of foreign exchange when $6m (not bond notes) was given for the first family to spend kuSingapore
    This place is becoming like North Korea where the big wigs are having it all and the ordinary people nothing

  • pro the teacher

    it just shows that Zimbabweans look to entertainment to take their mind of their current hardships..i dont see anything sinister there mr minister..

  • Chomutengure

    Stop buying 1.5 million dollar rings.