Zimbabwe’s Securities Law to Include Virtual Asset Service Providers

A proposal to amend the laws of “securities” has been placed by the Zimbabwean Government, according to which, the Government plans to incorporate virtual asset service providers (VASPs) within the “securities” definition. The proposal has been duly drafted by the Zimbabwean Cabinet which thinks that the objective can be achieved by simply amended the already existing Securities & Exchange Act. The lawmakers have been further directed to also make applicable the sanctions that have been imposed by the US Government.

Zimbabwe is one of the states which is a huge victim of terrorism financing and money laundering. This is one of the major problems of the state for a very long time. However, the problem got worst when crypto made its way into the Zimbabwean economy. Although, the popularity of crypto is still on the horizon in the country, yet the Government is faced with challenges as well.

The first major challenge before the Zimbabwean Government was how it should treat crypto. As a matter of fact, Zimbabwe is a crypto-friendly country. Therefore, it wants to make sure that it continues to allow its people to keep their interests in crypto intact. Destined with this object, the Zimbabwean Cabinet has come out with a plan to supervise crypto-related activities under the law.

According to media reports, a proposal has been placed through which an amendment has been sought in the Securities & Exchange Act of Zimbabwe. The Cabinet is of the view that by incorporating amendments in the law, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) will become the absolute authority for crypto. The Cabinet said that for the time being SEC is toothless before crypto-related activities. All activities in respect of crypto and virtual asset service providers (VASPs) can be monitored by SEC through the amendment.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwean Government also said that there is a need to amend the existing definition of “securities” under the Securities & Exchange Act. The Government has suggested that the amendment should provide for the incorporation of VASPs within the definition of “securities”. If the law is amended then SEC will be able to counter misuse of virtual assets by malicious actors.

It was suggested by the Cabinet that certain amendments will also be required to be made in the Money Laundering & Proceeds of Crime Act. The purpose of the amendment would be so that the activities of terrorism financing and money laundering can be identified. Once the activities are identified, then it will become easy for the authorities to asset the activities and act in accordance with the situation.

It was further proposed that the sanctions, which have been imposed by the US, shall also be applicable upon VASPs. For this, the Cabinet and the lawmakers have been advised to make sure that the US imposed sanctions are duly considered.