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Category Archive News

Technological Friendship with TAAT Consulting

At the ZAMFI Winter School in August 2023, TAAT Consulting donated two systems to ZAMFI.

The modalities were to be left to the ZAMFI Chairman. In fulfilment of that promise, TAAT called on the ZAMFI board to handover the systems. The ZAMFI board in return, handed over the systems to two of their members namely Missapi Finance in Marondera and Fundhouse Finance in Gweru.

The systems are a desire to upgrade and accelerate digitalization of microfinance institutions so that they can reach remote areas with less costs thereby making microfinance more accessible and more affordable.

The sector applauds TAAT for their timely technological friendship.

Wisrod lends a technological hand

Wisrod Lends a Helping Technological Hand

By Mr. Godfrey Chitambo (ZAMFI Executive Director)

Handover ceremony in pictures

A helping hand is always welcome in any circumstance whether in good or trying times. This is exactly what happened when Wisrod Financial Services recently made a call to the ZAMFI Secretariat and donated a brand new Intel CORE i5 HP laptop. I am told it’s fairly modern and advanced but because it is still to be put into service we don’t know. We will confirm. The ZAMFI Finance and Human Resources Committee Chair Mr Saul Ching’anga was on hand to receive the laptop on behalf of the ZAMFI board. Mr Michael Jera (Wisrod CEO) accompanied by Mr Peter Kiropasi represented Wisrod.

The ZAMFI board would like to thank Wisrod for this magnanimous gesture. We will retire the Executive’s Director’s laptop as its expiry date had long gone by.

The gadget had also run out of new ideas as its most common words were; “Re starting your computer.” (even without being asked)…“Please do not turn off your computer.”

Furthermore there was no courtesy whether this was between members meeting or an RBZ virtual meeting. It would ignore any other nudges from me to say, “Please wait till the RBZ Deputy Governor finishes her presentation!” It just went on…

From the Secretariat:

  • Thank you very much Wisrod
  • Good bye my former laptop. You ran a good race. We had been buddies for some time….Microfinance Act, Microfinance Amendment Act, Microfinance Advisory Council, board minutes, AGM minutes and attendant corrections, writing winning letters, losing letters…

Maybe we could just ignore the new intruder and we move on as before but we must give way to the “new normal”.

ZAMFI perpetual license

Perpetual Licence to Spur Micro-finance Sector Growth

Njabulo Bhebe, Business Reporter

THE introduction of a perpetual licence to the micro-finance industry is expected to attract more investors and spur the growth of the sector seen as key in an economy driven by small to medium businesses that rely on small loans.

Zimbabwe Association of Micro-finance Institutions (Zamfi) executive director Mr Godfrey Chitambo told Sunday News Business that the introduction of long-term licenses was likely to attract more players both local and foreign to invest in the country’s micro-finance sector.

“The issue around perpetual licence for micro-finance institutions has been a contentious matter for a very long time, but we are happy and excited that finally both parties have agreed to embrace it and include it in the Micro-finance Act. It’s no longer a legal requirement to renew the licence every 12 months as has been the case for the past two decades. Now investment both locally and international is free to find its way into the sector, leading to long-term commitment of funds with capacity to significantly raise the profile of micro-finance business in the country. This commitment of funds will likely see an increase in competition, efficiency, productivity and outreach of loans by the sector,” he said.

Prior to the introduction of the perpetual licence, which is contained in the recently enacted Micro-finance Act both credit and deposit micro-finance used to renew their operating licences annually. Mr Chitambo, however, said micro-finance institutions (MFIs) should guard against having their licences cancelled for failure to adhere to standing regulations.

“It (licence) is not perpetual in that it can be cancelled. MFIs therefore should take heed and note that there are always compromises in life and in business. For the sector to get the desired licence, practitioners need to operate in a manner which will not activate authorities to consider cancelling licences for some practitioners. Although it has never been heard of, as an association we do not envisage a day where reverse amendment would be mooted such as to re-consider the perpetual licence issue. We are therefore calling upon all practitioners to enjoy and celebrate this licence with responsible and ethical lending so that they do not end up with licences being revoked, institutions placed under curatorship or liquidated by the regulatory authorities,” he said.

Mr Chitambo said there was a need for Government to come up with policies tailor-made to ensure MFIs play their role of eradicating poverty among the country’s populace.

“Micro-finance requires other enabling tools to eradicate poverty such as good macro-economic policies, attractive investment environment and productive economic growth,” he said.

Mr Chitambo further stated the need for a Financial Consumer Act premised in the same way as the Consumer Protection Act.

“It’s time to have a Financial Consumer Protection Act that caters for all financial dealings in commercial banks, micro-finance institutions, insurance, asset management companies and investment companies where a lot of unfair bad practices are currently the norm, leaving consumers largely unprotected. Be that as it may, Zamfi is aware, is part of and fully supports financial literacy and consumer protection initiatives being executed by the Central Bank under certain taskforces. With time positive fruits are going to be borne by such initiatives,” he said.

Source: https://www.sundaynews.co.zw/perpetual-licence-to-spur-micro-finance-sector-growth/

Update on the Microfinance Amendment Bill

POSA successor awaits Presidential assent


11 NOV, 2019 – 00:11

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

Two major Bills designed to fulfil the goals of the Second Republic now await Presidential assent — the Maintenance of Peace and Order Bill (MOPA) and the Companies and Other Entities Bill.

MOPA seeks to repeal the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and provide mechanisms to regulate the conduct of demonstrations.

It also opens up the maximum democratic space, with the only limits coming from the need to protect everyone’s rights.

The Companies and Other Entities Bill will make business much easier by modernising the 1951 legislation.

Parliament has sent the two Bills passed by both Houses, plus the Micro-finance Amendment Bill, to the President for his assent, before they become law.

To entrench democratic values and freedoms in line with Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income economy, President Mnangagwa’s leadership has implemented a raft of reforms to transform the political and economic environment.

The Micro-finance Amendment Bill reduces the types of institutions that can do this business to credit-only micro financiers and deposit-taking micro financiers, omitting money-lenders.

The three Bills were passed in the last session of Parliament and are part of the reform process that Government has embarked on.

Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa on Friday conferred immunities and privileges to foreign nationals employed by the United Nations Office for Project Services.

The conferment of the privileges and immunities to the UNOPS and its foreign employees exempts them from lawsuits and legal processes and taxes and rates and other taxes on the importation of goods as is accorded to the government of any foreign State, among other benefits.

The President’s conferment of the privileges and immunities as stated in General Notice 2021 of 2019 was published in Friday’s Government Gazette in terms of the Privileges and Immunities Act (Chapter3:03).

Source: https://www.herald.co.zw/posa-successor-awaits-presidential-assent/

Govt Amends Microfinance Act

HARARE – Government has rolled out the new amendments to the Microfinance Act.

This comes as government sought to create credit and collateral registries as well as encourage consolidation among small businesses in order to enhance the operation of microfinance institutions (MFIs).

Government had also been implored to address shortcomings of the previous Microfinance Act providing for perpetual licences for deposit takings for MFIs and extending the tenure of the licence for the credit-only microfinance institutions.

Following the bids by microfinanciers, government last Friday gazetted the Microfinance Amendment Bill stating that the Bill will amend the Microfinance Act (Chapter 24:30) extending the tenure of licences to a five-year period, removing perpetual registrations and renewals.

The new Section 10A will specify a five-year period of registration by credit-only MFIs and indefinite registration for deposit-taking microfinance institutions.

At the present all institutions are registered for one calendar year only. “They will apply at least three months before expiry of their registration and will be obliged to disclose any material changes in the particulars they gave the Registrar when they were granted registration or when their registration was last reviewed, the Microfinance Amendment Bill read.

Meanwhile the Bill also reduces the variety of institutions that can carry on microfinance business under the Act.

At present the Act envisages four different types of institutions namely corporate financiers, credit-only microfinanciers, deposit-taking microfinanciers and money-lenders, who provide loans and credit but are not micro-financiers.