Zimbabwe High Court Lifts Central Bank’s Crypto Ban

News, Regulation | May 25, 2018 By:

The Harare High Court has reportedly lifted the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s ban against cryptocurrency activities.

Earlier this month, Norman Mataruka, RBZ director and registrar of banking institutions, ordered all registered financial institutions to stop all forms of cryptocurrency trading and instructed crypto exchanges to shut down their operations. Mataruka said the reason for the move was to protect the public and safeguard the integrity and safety of the country’s financial system.

Zimbabwe cryptocurrency exchange platform Golix submitted a High Court challenge stating that the central bank’s crypto ban was unconstitutional, as there are no laws that empower it to make such legislative moves. The exchange also argued that the central bank did not give adequate time for notice and a right of response when it issued its ban.

On May 24, High Court judge Justice Alphas Chitakunye gave a default judgement in the case after the central bank officials, including RBZ governor John Mangudya, failed to turn up to defend themselves.

“The ban issued by the Respondents [RBZ] through letter dated 15 May 2018 against Applicant directing it to cease operations, shut down its virtual currency exchange business, and ordering the closure of its bank account with its banks is hereby reversed and set aside,” the ruling said.

Fadzayi Mahere, one of Golix’s legal team members and a constitutional lawyer, announced the victory on Twitter stating that: “RBZ ban on cryptos lifted by the High Court. Administrative justice is alive and well in this jurisdiction. Section 68 of the Constitution is our best friend.”