I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite a year. The world over of course with the COVID-19 pandemic but also at home with some of our own doing. I thought it would be great to look back at the year 2020 in the form of a business news highlights presented as a timeline. From lockdown to stock exchange shutdowns to a stable currency we’ve seen a lot this year on both ends of the spectrum and everything in between.


09 January saw Finance minister Mthuli Ncube try to sell the Transitional Stabilisation Program with a Jingle that didn’t exactly hit the right chords.  https://startupbiz.co.zw/mthuli-ncube-resorts-to-jingle-to-promote-tsp/

22 The Supreme Court affirmed the position on US dollar debts being converted to Zimbabwean dollar at 1:1 https://startupbiz.co.zw/usd-debts-to-paid-in-zim-dollar-at-11-supreme-court/

28 ZIMRA gave us the first (but not the last) sign of a preference towards the US dollar by government and businesses https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimra-asks-for-taxes-in-foreign-currency/


06 Trafigura bought Sakunda holdings out of its business amid speculation that  https://startupbiz.co.zw/trafigura-buys-out-sakunda/

06 ZSE, perhaps ominously announced investing courses https://startupbiz.co.zw/zse-announces-investing-courses/ + https://startupbiz.co.zw/zse-launches-online-training-website/

12 Zimtrade unveiled it’s export growth strategy https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimtrade-unveils-export-growth-strategy/

14 As the interbank exchange rate fell out of touch with reality rumours of liberation mounted  https://startupbiz.co.zw/interbank-liberation-rumours-dominate-as-rate-pushes-towards-30/

14 After the roller meal subsidy didn’t work as planned the government  unveiled Roller meal coupon system https://startupbiz.co.zw/government-to-unveil-roller-meal-coupon-system-as-subsidy-fails/

18 RBZ governor John Mangudya presented an underwhelming monetary policy statement https://startupbiz.co.zw/much-ado-about-nothing-as-manduya-announces-monetary-policy-statement/

19 Once talk of the town, community share ownership trusts were reduced to shambles https://startupbiz.co.zw/community-share-ownership-trust-now-in-shambles/

27 We chose to reflect on the Zimbabwean dollar a year after its return https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimbabwean-dollar-a-year-later/


04 RBZ started to communicate more but the tome was clearly a combative one with dual press statements and midnight message for Bureau de changes.  https://startupbiz.co.zw/rbz-fires-from-both-hips-with-two-press-statements/ + https://startupbiz.co.zw/rbz-in-cryptic-midnight-bureaux-de-change-message/

09 As the Zimbabwean dollar went into freefall on the parallel market more and more players showed a preference for US dollars despite not being legal tender  https://startupbiz.co.zw/first-fuel-now-transport-operators-dollarise/

11 We got new forex rules but inherited the same problems from the old rules https://startupbiz.co.zw/new-forex-rules-same-old-problems-ncube-and-mangudya-joint-statement/

16 Bombshell to investors as the fungible ZSE shares had their fungibility suspended. This was just the beginning of what was to come. https://startupbiz.co.zw/is-zimbabwe-open-for-business-fungibility-of-shares-cancelled/

18 The Zimbabwean dollar gave up 22% in one day as there seemed to be some attempt to liberalise it on the official market.  https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimbabwean-dollar-slides-22-on-interbank-morning-trades/

25 Zimbabwe went into lockdown after recording it’s first COVID-19 casualty https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimbabwe-tightens-laws-after-first-local-covid-19-death/

27 A perplexing move returned the US dollar to legal tender status https://startupbiz.co.zw/the-us-dollar-is-back/


20 Businesses adapted to the circumstances and started offering delivery https://startupbiz.co.zw/businesses-offering-deliveries-in-zimbabwe-right-now/

21 The initial lockdown was extended https://startupbiz.co.zw/the-implications-of-2-week-national-lockdown-extension/

24 RBZ took the fight to Bureau de changes during the lockdown https://startupbiz.co.zw/rbz-suspends-2-more-bdc-catches-3-unlicensed/


04 The Financial intelligence took centre stage in the fight against the parallel market rate with mobile money agents bearing the brunt of it https://startupbiz.co.zw/financial-intelligence-unit-freezes-over-100-mobile-money-agent-accounts/

05 The lockdown was further extended https://startupbiz.co.zw/second-lockdown-extension-for-zimbabwe-a-closer-look/

05 Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube outlined an $18 billion stimulus package to smooth things as the economy reeled from lockdown measures https://startupbiz.co.zw/18-billion-stimulus-package-details/

11 The Finance Minister also breathed life into the idea of Offshore Financial Centre and the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange https://startupbiz.co.zw/the-international-offshore-financial-centre-and-victoria-falls-exchange-concepts-explained/

19 Ecocash and its agents were accused of creating money and hence fuelling inflation and exchange rate depreciation https://startupbiz.co.zw/a-ponzi-scheme-called-ecocash-an-analysis-of-the-accusations/

22 RBZ escalated its Ecocash fight https://startupbiz.co.zw/rbz-escalates-ecocash-fight-directs-steward-to-freeze-ecocash-trust-accounts/

23 Kombis frozen out https://startupbiz.co.zw/the-ban-on-private-kombis-a-closer-look/

30 ZSE direct trading platform was teased https://startupbiz.co.zw/the-zse-is-setting-up-a-new-online-trading-platform/


02 Kombis use fake ZUPCO stickers after being frozen out https://startupbiz.co.zw/desperate-kombis-use-fake-zupco-stickers-to-get-back-on-the-road/

05 RBZ limits internal transfers https://startupbiz.co.zw/rbz-fiu-fires-again-limits-internal-transfers/

05 US dollars took centre stage in business https://startupbiz.co.zw/insistence-on-usd-payments-now-commonplace/

12 RTG unveils Gateway grocery shopping https://startupbiz.co.zw/rainbow-tourism-group-unveils-online-grocery-delivery-service/

16 FIU goes after rate publishers https://startupbiz.co.zw/fiu-now-going-after-rate-publishers/

18 Interbank out, Auction system in! https://startupbiz.co.zw/interbank-out-auction-system-in/

24 The foreign currency auction started and there was a lot to take in https://startupbiz.co.zw/takeaways-from-the-first-foreign-currency-auction/

27 Mobile money and share trading suspended https://startupbiz.co.zw/government-suspends-all-mobile-money-and-share-trading/


06 RBZ boosts auction supply-side https://startupbiz.co.zw/rbz-looks-to-boost-auction-supply-side/

09 Informal markets were allowed back but kombis were still frozen out https://startupbiz.co.zw/informal-markets-get-green-light-kombis-still-in-limbo/

10 Zimswitch announced as national payments switch https://startupbiz.co.zw/all-mobile-money-payments-to-run-through-zimswitch-rbz-says/

13 Controversial cryptocurrency Zimbocash took down their payments system https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimbocash-clarifies-why-it-took-down-its-payments-system/

17 2% tax on forex transactions was introduced https://startupbiz.co.zw/2-tax-coming-to-foreign-currency-transactions/

27 SI 185 mandated dual pricing which roughly amounted to price controls  https://startupbiz.co.zw/2-tax-coming-to-foreign-currency-transactions/

30 Zim signed a US$3.5 billion farmer compensation deal https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimbabwe-signs-us3-5-billion-farmer-compensation-deal/

30 All Zim companies to re-register https://startupbiz.co.zw/all-zimbabwean-companies-to-re-register/


07 New SME auction launched and quickly changed https://startupbiz.co.zw/new-sme-auction-provides-interesting-results-and-a-quick-change/

10 KWD Ponzi scheme robs Zimbabweans https://startupbiz.co.zw/kwd-ponzi-scheme-directors-flee-the-country/

18 Inflation reached over 800% year on year https://startupbiz.co.zw/inflation-shoots-beyond-800/

18 ZSE resumed trading to bloodbath https://startupbiz.co.zw/zse-resumes-trading-to-bloodbath/

20 Zimbabwe receivables market launched https://startupbiz.co.zw/zimbabwe-receivables-market-launched/


02 Zim dollar showed signs of stabilising on both markets https://startupbiz.co.zw/is-the-zimbabwean-dollar-stabilising/

09 ZIPIT smart launched https://startupbiz.co.zw/zipit-smart-to-improve-mobile-functionality/

09 Tourism reopened https://startupbiz.co.zw/government-lifts-covid-19-restrictions-on-tourism/

11 ZSE direct launched https://startupbiz.co.zw/zse-launches-online-share-trading-platform/

16 Inflation starts to slow https://startupbiz.co.zw/inflation-slows-down-as-zimbabwean-dollar-appreciates-at-auction/

23 Inflation to fall faster: Cross https://startupbiz.co.zw/inflation-to-fall-faster-cross/


01 Kombis to return with conditions https://startupbiz.co.zw/kombis-to-return-to-the-streets-with-conditions-though/

09 Pfumvudza farming program explained https://startupbiz.co.zw/what-is-pfumvudza-and-how-will-the-nation-benefit/

23 Civil servants funeral assistance announced but met with ridicule https://startupbiz.co.zw/government-introduces-civil-servants-funeral-assistance/

23 Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) launched https://startupbiz.co.zw/vfex-to-launch-friday-the-23rd-of-october/


03 Zim commodities exchange announced https://startupbiz.co.zw/how-will-the-zimbabwe-commodities-exchange-help/

11 Insurance companies got the Greenback greenlight https://startupbiz.co.zw/insurance-companies-get-greenback-green-light/

18 National Development Strategy 1 launched https://startupbiz.co.zw/national-development-strategy-1-launched/

25 Poverty Datum Line was  up in US Dollar terms https://startupbiz.co.zw/poverty-datum-line-rises-again-in-zwl-and-usd-terms/

25 6 Broadcast TV licences awarded https://startupbiz.co.zw/6-tv-licences-awarded-ke-yona-tv-already-looking-for-talent/

26 The 2021 National Budget was announced with small businesses coming out as the big losers https://startupbiz.co.zw/2021-national-budget-highlights/


02 Old Mutual ZSE Top 10  Exchange Traded Fund to trade 4/01/2021 https://startupbiz.co.zw/old-mutual-etf-to-start-trading-january-4th-2021/

08 Another bank angered Zimbabweans https://startupbiz.co.zw/another-bank-angers-zimbabweans/

09 Inflation slowed down further https://startupbiz.co.zw/inflation-slows-down-further/

18 Fidelity to relinquish gold refinery https://startupbiz.co.zw/fidelity-gold-refinery-to-privatise/

This happened so often it deserved its own mention. ZESA made 6 changes to its pricing in the year 2020 and 5 of them were outright tariff hikes. Perplexing when you consider the currency stability in the second half of the year. https://startupbiz.co.zw/page/1/?s=zesa

We’d like to thank you for joining us through the year as we have enjoyed publishing business ideas, business tips, entrepreneur interviews and entrepreneur profiles. Wishing you all the best during the festive season, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We look forward to being of service in the new year.