By Ndafadza Madanha - ZANU PF Information Department
THE ZANU PF Youth league leadership led by the acting Deputy Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Tendai Chirau, met senior officials of Empower Bank to familiarise with operations of the institution.
Cde Chirau said the meeting was also in line with pronouncements of the National Youth League executive that, in 2020 focus will be on enhancing empowerment opportunities for its constituency.
Empower Bank was formed in 2018 at the behest of the Youth League with the purpose of providing social and financial solutions to the financially excluded population with greater focus on the youth.
“We came to meet the leadership of Empower Bank as you are aware ZANU PF Youth League pushed for the establishment of the Bank. The leadership explained the number of youths who have benefited in particular those in agriculture and order financing. We are also happy that the bank is decentralising and that it now accepts collateral in the form of movable items such as cattle and ICT gadgets”.
Cde Chirau said his team were concerned with the interest rates charged by the bank and will lobby Government to review them as they were prohibitive to aspiring entrepreneurs.
He urged Youths to prioritise seeking knowledge from the bank as it was apolitical.
Empower Bank acting Chief Executive Officer, Shadreck Mhembere, said the institution had to date disbursed ZWL$9m to over 1 500 youths for projects.
He said another ZWL$4m worth of projects was under review and urged youths to approach the bank to find out how they can get assistance.
“We are the only Youth Bank in Zimbabwe and Africa and we saw it fit to respond to section 20 of the constitution of Zimbabwe. We have to date disbursed ZWL$9m to over 1 500 beneficiaries in various sectors of the economy”.
Mhembere said the majority of youths who have received loans from the institution are meeting their obligations resulting in a low non-performing loan ratio.
He said in 2020, the bank looks forward to disbursing loans worth over ZWL$60m to over 10 000 youths across the country.
The Bank had decentralised operations to almost all provinces in a bid to ensure youths had access to their products and services.