Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo community has endorsed the Movable Property Security Interest Bill saying the proposed law would, if enacted, go a long way in assisting small businesses to access capital.
The Bill seeks to provide for movable property to be used as security for the purpose of obtaining loans.
Speaking during a public consultation meeting organised by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Bulawayo yesterday, participants said the proposed bill was long overdue.
“Less fortunate people have been on the receiving end every time. A majority of people here in the city are SMEs so it was difficult for them to access loans from the bank. The Bill is welcome because it will address the imbalance that used to be there,” said Rejoice Sibanda. She said the Bill would also empower women to participate in the economy.
Businessman Mr Morris Mpala said the proposed Bill would help banks to thrive and urged local people especially SMEs to step up and support the legislation.
Mr Butler Tambo from the Centre for Public Engagement said for the Bill to be successful it was important to categorise assets when it comes to intellectual property and copyrights.
“It is important to know who really the owner of the property is in order to get rid of fraudulent activities when accessing loans. Also, pre and post evaluation of assets is a recommendable way of doing things,” said Mr Tambo.
Committee chairperson and MP for Mutoko South David Chapfika said the Bill seeks to receive the views from the people on the ground as required by the Constitution of the country.
“This is a new Bill altogether and is inclusive to every citizen in the country. Its main purpose is to enable a good environment of doing business so that banks can be authorised to accept movable properties for small business to access loans,” he said.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) representative Mr James Tsikwa said the central bank’s role was to establish a credit registry and a collateral registry on movable property.
“The purpose of the registry is to facilitate commerce, industry and other socio-economic activities by enabling individuals and businesses to utilise their movable property as collateral for credit,” said Mr Tsikwa.
He added that the credit registry was going to be web based (online) and a data base will be created so as to get rid of the centralised system.
Meanwhile, MP Chapfika said a Statutory Instrument on the Bill would be issued with a list of assets, which are found to be classified as movable properties. He praised the local community for coming out in numbers to give out their views on the Bill.