THE Zimbabwe Cross-Border Traders’ Association (ZCBTA) headed by Killer Zivhu will partner the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s lending arm Homelink and Agribank in a $15 million loan facility to assist struggling informal traders.
Source: Cross-borders, Homelink, Agribank forge partnership – NewsDay Zimbabwe March 17, 2017
BY MUNESU NYAKUDYA
Zivhu yesterday told delegates from across the country during the launch of the facility that informal traders had turned to the black market for funds to finance their projects from which they were being fleeced through exorbitant rates.
Zivhu said that his association would use the loan facility to launch a programme dubbed Fill My Shop.
“We are aware that most of our informal traders are not creditworthy so financial institutions do not want to deal with or make it difficult for them to access cheap loans. This facility will help them a lot and we are targeting markets in the region and beyond,” Zivhu said.
Homelink chief executive officer Stellamaris Chorwira said the loans would be affordable and would be accessed by registered cross-border traders.
“We are targeting registered cross-border traders who are ZCBTA members and we will use their list and membership cards to process the loans. We are also working to ensure that we can have Homelink desks at every Agribank branch,” Chorwira said.
Agribank official Joseph Mverecha also encouraged the traders to go and start opening cross-border accounts with the bank.
“We will make sure that you don’t have to wait in long queues. The account has the lowest charges in the country and will not have withdrawal limits. In two to three months, we will avail you a special visa card that you can be use in different countries,” Mverecha said.
Zivhu encouraged informal traders to join his association in order to get the guarantee letter that will give them access to the loans. He added that the facility would also help stem the tide of externalisation as well as encourage traders to use official banking channels after years of hesitancy engendered by the high-per-inflationary era in which most people lost their savings.