By Anna Chibamu
CHIEF Executive Officer (CEO) of newly opened Zimbabwe Women Microfinance Bank (ZWMB), Mandas Marikanda has warned the public not to entertain any persons moving around purportedly representing the bank as its employees.
She was addressing the media in Harare on Wednesday following reports there were some individuals circulating fake messages on social media while impersonating the bank’s staff.
Marikanda dismissed these as “conmen”.
“There is information filtering through where we got some reports not yet substantiated. We understand that there are people who have been going around purportedly representing the Women’s Bank.
“We are not so sure yet whether the police and the Gender Ministry are helping us to substantiate the facts. Needless to say, when you hear just a rumour, it is important to address the issue so that no woman or family is taken advantage of in any way.
“We understand there are people who have been moving around in some vehicle somewhere in Dema (Seke) and Chitungwiza. We are not sure if it is countrywide but is important to dialogue with women of Zimbabwe to avoid loss of money,” said Marikanda.
She added that the conmen have been asking women to open accounts with initial $5 deposits while promising to top up their accounts with $100.
“If this has been going on and someone heard about this, please be advised that it is not a fact from the bank. We are so concerned about women and family,” Marikanda said.
She said the fledgling financial institution was still operating a single branch in Harare and was working with Gender Ministry in all districts for those interested in opening their accounts with the bank.
“No ministry officer is supposed to be given cash. Payment is only done through the mobile operators which are One Wallet, Ecocash and Telecash. These have biller codes which are used to activate the account of a client with a minimum of $5,” Marikanda added.
She also dismissed assertions the bank was targeting an elite clientele.
The women’s bank was launched by President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently with government injecting a $10 million capital, becoming the first bank in Southern Africa meant to transform and economically empower women.