Bitfinance Charges Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to Court Over Crypto Ban

Zimbabwe: Latest report reaching Cryptomartez reveals that Bitfinance (Pvt) Ltd trading as Golix, a local crypto exchange, has charged the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and its governor John Mangudya to court for placing a ban on cryptocurrency trading. Bitfinance seeks an order from the court to reverse the recent pronouncement by RBZ barring all cryptocurrency transactions.

William Chui, the CEO for Bitfinance, filed an urgent chamber application last Monday, claiming that RBZ has no jurisdiction to ban transactions in digital currencies given that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the central bank. According to Williams in his founding affidavit:

“This is an urgent chamber application for setting aside the decision by the first respondent (RBZ) to ban operations of the applicant [Bitfinance]. The application is founded on section 3 as read with section 4 of the Administrative Justice Act (Chapter 10:28) as amplified by section 68 of the Constitution of the Republic… I humbly submit that the decision by the first respondent aforesaid is in violation of both good administrative justice law and the Constitution of the country. Applicant implores this honourable court, on an urgent basis, to set aside and reverse the decision by the respondents… The decision was unlawful in that the respondents [RBZ and Mangudya] lacked jurisdiction to make the decision… They acted ultra vires their enabling Act. It is clear from the wording of the preamble of the RBZ Act, that first respondent has power to regulate the banking industry and currency in Zimbabwe. . . applicant is not a banking or financial institution. It does not fall within the banking or financial services sector.”

William added that though Bitfinance partners with banks in serving its clients, it is neither a bank nor a financial institution as defined in the Reserve Bank’s Act, “it is a start-up in the emerging financial technology industry”. He stated that the decision that was taken by RBZ and Mangudya to invoke certain sections of the RBZ Act and effectively bar cryptocurrency business with effect from 17th May 2018, was misguided.

However, the matter is yet to be set down for hearing.

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