Cambria Africa takes Zimbabwe banks to court for $100 million
Abraham Darwyne
Company News - 2 min read
10:25, 4th July 2019

AIM listed Cambria Africa (CMB) FOLLOW has slammed the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe for anti competitive behaviour, seeking damages of US$100 million.

After a dispute over payments, Cambria Africa’s subsidiaries, Payserv Africa and Paynet Zimbabwe, have engaged Titan Law to sue the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe and related parties.

Payserv Africa provides payments and business process outsourcing services targeted at Banks in the region.

The relationship it has with the banks is highly profitable. It estimated that in 2018 banks earn $5 in profit for each dollar invoiced, collectively netting over US $22 million in profits via charges to its accounts in 2018.

However the Banks collectively owe Payserv Africa over US $470,000 for over 4 million transactions, since May.

In June, Payserv suspended its services in Zimbabwe to “protect its contractual position” with its banking clients.

It now believes the banks are currently managing payments using manual spreadsheets sent by email and flash drives, which are unencrypted or insufficiently encrypted.

Shares rallied 14% after the announcement of legal action.

In the tumult, diverging narratives have emerged. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s Governor, Dr John P. Mangudya told the company he would not object to payment of Payserv Africa invoices.

But the banks are not talking or paying, choosing instead to liaise through the Interbank Operations Committee in Zimbabwe, with no payments made thus far.

The lack of any payments has led Cambria to believe the banks are “attempting to present untested and unapproved alternative software platforms”, the company said.

It added, “We can only hope sanity will prevail and banks will reengage with us as partners instead of pursuing a group strategy of beggaring their supplier.”

However the company said it will continue to “individually engage” with banks and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, but told investors that the Zimbabwean banking sector is “now exposed to significant security and privacy risks”.

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