Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s wife, Auxcillia’s unofficial rural bank for women, Fushai Bank, which she established in Chirumanzu-Zibagwe constituency, has begun paying off and transforming rural homesteads.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Over 100 women, who joined the bank, on Saturday gathered in Nyikavanhu ward 15, some 50km from Mvuma, for the official opening of a modernised rural kitchen built from profits earned from the bank by one of the members, Fatima Marara.
Mnangagwa attended the function.
Marara constructed a $1 300 thatched hut, complete with ceramic floor tiles and decorated with plates and pots worth over $400.
Fushai Bank, Mnangagwa’s brainchild, is an informal bank in which women borrow money and pay it back with 10% interest every month.
The women use the borrowed money to fund projects like rearing poultry or small stock for sale.
The profits are then shared equally among members at the end of an agreed time and used for development with peer monitoring being at the centre of the project.
Marara, (73) told NewsDay, the banking project had transformed her life and that of her peers, as they had now moved from cooking in clay pots, staying in pole and dagger huts into decent modern homes.
“I would not have achieved much without the bank. I am happy that our MP brought this idea to us,” she said.
Mnangagwa officially opened two kitchen huts in her constituency, with another belonging to widowed Tendai Hatitye Makunda ,who said her project was worth $1 700.
Speaking at the two ceremonies, Mnangagwa delivered almost identical speeches encouraging women to stop being lazy and cry babies, who seat on their hands and wait to be provided for by their husbands.
She told the women that idle minds and gossiping would not develop their communities and called on more women to join the bank in order to transform their lives.
“At the start of this project, some of you did not even understand what I was saying, but now as we seat here opening this house, tiled in rural areas and with modern thatching, it should begin to sink into our heads what we can do for ourselves with just a bit of hard work and extending a hand to each other,” she said.
One of the banking units chairpersons, Shailet Chizembe, said even though Mnangagwa had only officially opened two kitchens, more than 30 women had modernised their homes, while others had bought livestock and sent their children to school courtesy of the rural bank.