Women’s Bank launch postponed indefinitely, man to head board

HARARE,– Zimbabwe’s government has appointed a man to chair its Women’s Bank, which is being set up to support female entrepreneurs.

The launch of the bank,  initially slated to coincide with International Women’s Day celebrations on Wednesday, has now been postponed indefinitely, Minister of Women’s Affairs Nyasha Chikwinya announced during celebrations in the capital.

She also announced that former Zimpapers chief executive Matthews Kunaka had been appointed as the chairperson of the bank. Kunaka is currently  the chief executive of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe.

“We have the chairman of the bank…….some said the chairman should be a woman and I said no, we do not do things that way. We are looking for a competent person who is able to drive the bank forward. A man or woman with a vision and passion for women, who is able to articulate issues for women and bring whatever women want, in terms of financial inclusion, onto the table,” said Chikwinya.

She did not disclose the names of the other board members.
Last week, members of Parliament questioned the appointment of the board and the chief executive as the posts were not advertised to the public.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced in the 2017 budget statement that government will inject $10 million to capitalise the Women’s Bank.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has encouraged banks to set up women entrepreneur-dedicated desks, to improve the financial inclusion of women.

Speaking during the celebrations, deputy central bank governor Charity Dhliwayo said nine banks had implemented the initiative so far.

The central bank also availed $15 million under a women empowerment fund to finance women owned projects across the country. – Source 

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