Harare — Zimbabwe’s Steward Bank has suspended payments to MultiChoice, the pay-TV subsidiary of Naspers, citing unavailability of foreign currency, in a sign that dollar shortages are worsening in the country. Local banks have been forced to limit withdrawals due to cash shortages, while importers face long delays in paying for goods they bring in, forcing some businesses to buy dollars on the parallel market. Steward Bank, a unit of telecommunications company Econet Wireless, said in a statement that it was suspending payments to MultiChoice, Africa’s largest pay-TV firm, which is popular in Zimbabwe. “To assist in effective allocation of foreign currency reserves at this critical time, we would like to advise that with immediate effect, the bank has suspended DStv payments for all account classes [except premium],” the bank said.

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