…as sugarcane associations encourage members to open accounts
CHIREDZI - The recently launched Zimbabwe Women's Microfinance Bank (ZWMB) has been well-received in Chiredzi, with 300 local people opening accounts in recent days.
The bank was commissioned by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on June 25, a move that was welcomed as an important development in gender mainstreaming efforts targeted at women who have for long been one of the most economically marginalised demographic group.
The Zimbabwe Sugarcane Development Association (ZSDA) and Commercial Sugarcane Farmers Association of Zimbabwe (CSFAZ) have also endorsed the bank by encouraging their members to open accounts.
On August 08, the two organisations invited the bank and the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development to assist their female members open accounts.
More than 300 women successfully opened their accounts at zero deposit on that day.
Small to Medium Enterprise Department public relations officer for Chiredzi, Confidence Mukau praised the presence of the bank in the district, saying women now had a greater opportunity to be masters of their own destinies.
"We have women who are already in business but who could not travel to Harare to open accounts. That is why we made this arrangement for people to open accounts locally. Chiredzi makes a substantial contribution to the economy of the country through sugarcane farming, livestock rearing and tourism services so local people could not be left behind.
"Other banks call for title deeds as collateral to acquire a loan but with Women's Bank, it is altogether different. This is a good opportunity for women to be enterprising so that they can make their own money," said Mukau.
ZSDA chairperson, Edmore Veterai said the opportunity had come for women to invest in any sector of the economy so that they do not remain behind.
"All women regardless of political or religious affiliation are invited to register with the Women's Bank. The concept is noble (deposit and borrow). This is a big opportunity entrusted on women and it should be fully taken without hesitation.
"We are coming in as facilitators and we are working with the Ministry of Women Affairs to empower women," said Veterai.
This week, it was reported that the bank had disbursed loans amounting to over US$23 000 since it started operating, with US$300 000 worth of other applications still being processed.
The application for loans were said to be mostly from women in agriculture and others seeking funding to further their education.local