Zimbabwe Women's Micro Finance Bank (ZWMB) has called women to be on high alert with regards to opening accounts with the bank following rumors of fraudsters in Chitungwiza.
Addressing journalists today, Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Sithembiso Nyoni urged women to open accounts on their own and not be represented by anyone when opening an account.
"We really want to emphasize that women have to be on high alert, we want to deal with the individual woman this is why we formed this bank. We do not want anyone acting on behalf of any woman,
"Be yourself as a woman, come forward yourself, don't be represented, we are tired of being represented as women. It is time we took our own situations and our own struggles in our own hands,
"When you allow someone to act on you behalf, you are opening that window to fraud so we want to encourage women to act individually," said Nyoni.
To date, over 12 000 have filled in application forms and 8 850 accounts have been opened.
Nyoni added that every woman is eligible to open an account with the bank regardless of having a bad banking record and are training women on how loan products work.
"Over 12 000 have filled in application forms, we have opened 8, 850 accounts to date and the bank is continuing to open more. We do not turn away any woman because of their past even if you have a bad banking record we try to assist and give every woman a fresh start because if we reject them here we don't know where they will be accepted. So we have a desk that will assist them clean up their past
"The main sectors that are applying are cross border, agriculture, education. We have received a number of loan applications which are being processed right now. To date I am very pleased to say that we have had very good disbursements within a month, we have processed over and disbursed 116 loan applications,
"For personal loans we have received about 37, 45 for the informal sector group applications, 23 for group applications and 11 for small registered companies. The bank is conducting training sessions to make sure that women understand how loan products work, every woman should be able to qualify for a loan," she explained.
Where a client would like to access a loan immediately, the bank requires one to raise 10% of the loan amount required in the account to show commitment to your project. Once that target has been reached one can then apply for the loan.