2 500 open accounts with women's bank

Published: 07 July 2018
More than 2 500 women have so far opened accounts with the Zimbabwe Women's Microfinance Bank (ZWMB), which was officially opened by President Mnangagwa last week.

Briefing journalists on the progress at the bank, ZWMB chief executive Mrs Mandas Marikanda said there had been an overwhelming response from people, mostly women from districts outside Harare.

She said there were also numerous consultations on opening and accessing loans from the institution by women from the urban areas. "People are so excited about the new bank and things are happening in different wards and districts," she said.

"As of Tuesday, we had over 2 500 accounts that had been opened and more forms are still coming from the various districts. We are trying to reach out to all women, starting from the grassroots level."

 Mrs Marikanda said the bank was for all women from different statuses and backgrounds. She said the bank was offering micro-finance loans to women who had been excluded from financial institutions that required immovable property as collateral.

Mrs Marikanda raised concern over some unscrupulous people masquerading as ZWMB officials who were trying to con people. She said the cases were reported in Dema, Seke, where some women were being encouraged to pay $5 to the conmen to get a loan of $100. "We understand that there are people who have been moving around purportedly representing the women's bank around Dema area in Chitungwiza," said Mrs Marikanda.

"Police and the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Community Development officials are looking into the issue.

"We have one branch, but we have also partnered with the Ministry of Women's Affairs. The ministry has been working with women groups, helping them to get skills in business incubation and how to run a business, but the missing link has been access to finance."

Mrs Marikanda said there were ministry representatives in districts, assisting women to open accounts. She advised women not to pay any money to the officials as they will only be required to pay after the application process would have been finished.

The money is paid through mobile network operators who have partnered the bank. Mrs Marikanda said the bank was trying to reach out to all women nationwide and was also engaging churches to educate people on the functions of the bank and how they can access loans. She said there were salary-based loans that had an interest rate of four and five percent, which she said was viable.

"We are exploring possible relationships to get cheaper funds," she said.
- the herald
Tags: Bank,


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