Government to ‘bend over backwards’ to save MicroKing, Chinamasa

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THE government has said it will rescue MicroKing, the micro-lending arm of AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe after visiting United Kingdom secretary for international development, Mark Lowcock raised fears over British investment in the institution.
AfrAsia Bank was closed last week when its Mauritian owners pulled out.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa told journalists on Wednesday evening that the British have $800,000 worth of investments in MicroKing.
The lender is facing an uncertain future after it was put up for sale by Mauritius incorporated AfrAsia Bank Limited, along with asset manager AfrAsia Capital Management (ACM), before AfrAsia’s exit from the former Kingdom Financial Holdings.
The investment was part of UK’s drive to promote small-to medium enterprises in the country through the Department for International Development (DFID).
“MicroKing has been successful in engagements it had with its clients to include low income people. They have been servicing the resources we have been putting into them. They have been successful in recovering and the payment ratio is good,” said Lowcock.
“Our interest is to see a resolution of the current situation which enables that to continue. I know the ministry and the governor have the same interest. It is for the authorities to work it out. Our main interest is the interests of customers at MicroKing.”
Central bank governor John Mangudya said the micro lender was in talks with potential investors.
“We will bend over backwards to save MicroKing,” Chinamasa replied.
“What Mr Lowcock is actually saying is that poor people pay better than rich people. They don’t do insider trading, they don’t borrow to go and build mansions like what we have witnessed elsewhere in this country. They are ethical enough, they honour their obligations.”Advertisement