By Elita Chikwati and Mary Muradzikwa
The Zimbabwe Women’s Microfinance Bank Limited has disbursed loans worth over $23 000 since it started operating at the end of June and is in the process of processing other applications totalling $300 000.
The applications for loans are mostly coming from people involved in agriculture and others seeking funding for education.
The bank continues to receive overwhelming response, especially from women.
Addressing journalists on the progress made by the bank yesterday, Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni said over 12 000 women had filled in application forms for loans, while 8 850 have opened accounts with the bank countrywide.
She said the bank was not discriminatory and was even welcoming women with poor track records.
Minister Nyoni said she was happy with the support the bank was getting from women across the country.
“I would like to thank and appreciate great and resourceful Zimbabwean women who have given the bank a thumbs-up through their great support,” she said. “I am proud of Zimbabwean women and believe that indeed this bank will empower women.
“Women have responded in their numbers by coming to the bank to open accounts. To date, tens of thousands of women have called, sent WhatsApp messages and even walked into the banking hall to know more about it.
“Over 12 000 have filled in application forms, we have opened 8 850 accounts to date, are looking at over 1 000 forms with adverse financial clearance reports. The bank is continuing to open more accounts.”
Minister Nyoni said for a member to access a loan instantly, the applicant needed to show commitment to his or her project by paying 10 percent of the loan applied for.
“The ZWMB is conducting training sessions to make sure that women understand how the loans work,” she said. “Women can access information about the bank anywhere around Zimbabwe, either at provincial, district or even ward level. Women can get information and forms from the ministry, NetOne offices and Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union branches in the country.”
Minister Nyoni urged women to be alert and deal directly with bank officials as the institution did not have representatives all over the country.