Ecocash- Affairs: the situation going from bad to worse

Ecocash- Affairs: the situation going from bad to worse

Since the disruption of money transfer operations via the Ecocash service, the population is grumbling. Agents and super agents are in an untenable situation and ask the central bank to intervene. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

After five days of Ecocash service disruption, things keep getting worse.

“I know an agent who has nearly 50 million Burundian francs in electronic money. How will he get this amount? Worse still, it is strictly forbidden to withdraw 15 million per day”, complains a super agent who operates in the city of Bujumbura, the economic capital.

“It seems that the BRB (Bank of the Republic of Burundi) knew something about it when it released the press release prohibiting to exceed a withdrawal of 15 million per day. How could we operate as super agents, when among our agents there are some using more than 15 million a day! “, he adds.


Some agents speculate and withhold up to 10% from a withdrawer because, they justify, they are not working. “That’s how we earn a little.”

An agent explains that Ecocash has given him less than 500 thousand Burundian francs since Friday while he has more than 10 million to withdraw

“I have to speculate to survive,” he reveals.

Other agents become shenanigans with the help of employees of Econet where the Ecocash service lies. They get money while corruption remains the only modus operandi. This affects everyone who has money to withdraw. This is all the more true as an Econet worker confirms it.

Agents and their employers also complain about the services of Lumicash, a competitor of Ecocash.

“If you deposit money in your phone, the operation is free, whereas there were commissions for the service before”. Some agents threaten to refuse to collaborate with Lumicash.

The consequences of the malfunction of the Ecocash service are many, it is the most used in mobile money in Burundi. Contributions and collections of money are made via this service which was the most reliable, not to mention different payments, according to the super agents.

Since January 26, the Ecocash system has been paralyzed. This follows a decision by the Burundi revenue office (OBR) which seized the accounts of the mobile company Econet Wireless, owner of the system. According to the office, the company owes the Burundian State a debt of more than 88 billion Burundian francs and more than 44 million US dollars.

While waiting for the situation to be unblocked, the money remains “stuck” in the phones.

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