Doubts over Guzah's NBCZ fund

HARARE - There is a great deal of doubt and pessimism over the  National Business Council of Zimbabwe (NBCZ)’s ability to “pull through” its $50 million small to medium enterprise (SME) facility with a South African company, analysts have said.

This not only comes as the country’s poor credit record has hampered many a business in trying to obtain credit facilities, but a number of questions have arisen over the viability and loan application criteria where beneficiaries are reportedly asked to fork out a  $1 000 non-refundable fee.

Further, NBCZ president Keith Guzah’s chosen partners — World Marine and Offshore (Pvt) Limited (World Marine) — have proven to be an untested financial player since it is a shipping company.

Chris Mugaga, an economic commentator, said Guzah should first explain whether the money for the facility is already available or not.

“We cannot talk about something that we don’t even know,” Mugaga told the Daily News. “Is the money there and if it’s there, what is the interest rate? We have seen ministers Chinamasa (Patrick) and Chidhakwa (Walter) going to China and Russia to look for money and coming back empty-handed. Is the NBCZ deal not the same? Is it not a pie in the sky?”
Mugaga said the $1 000 non-refundable fee was illegal and immoral.

“This is daylight robbery,” Mugaga said.

“How do you charge such a non refundable fee when we are faced with illiquidity? How do you charge people $1 000 when they want to borrow some money? It shows that they don’t have the money in the first place. I maintain that this is daylight robbery.”

Economic analyst John Robertson said one would expect the business of lending to be conducted by banks.

“But we have seen banks giving loans and people failing to pay. So the NBCZ should have a strategy to ensure that borrowers do pay back,” he said.

Asked how plausible it is for foreign investors to pump in money when the country has a poor credit record, Robertson said: “I don’t know. Maybe the investors took a chance because we have a poor record.

“Maybe the investors got a guarantee from the government. I cannot tell. I suspect maybe the investors have been looking for an opportunity. We have to assume that the investor got some form of security or government guarantee.”

Guzah told the Daily News this week that the facility is not registered with the central bank as there are no funds coming into the country, even though his partners World Marine was South Africa-registered.

“The way its structured is such that there is no need for NBCZ to register the facility with RBZ as there are no funds coming into the country,” Guzah said.

“It’s a credit facility that is targeted at small and medium enterprises who are failing to service their procurement orders primarily in the mining and agricultural sectors due to lack of financial support.”

Without naming the financial institutions, Guzah further said he was negotiating with selected banks which would administer the facility.

The former Dynamos secretary-general and ex-president of the Affirmative Action Group said the NBCZ was a trust, but he declined to name the other six trustees.

“The NBCZ is neither a private company nor a government initiative. It is a trust with me as the founder trustee and six others,” he said.

On how the SMEs would access the facility, Guzah said: “This line of credit can be accessed through application at NBCZ house by registered small and medium enterprises.”

Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment deputy minister Mathias Tongofa, who unveiled the facility, said he was not aware how the facility works.

“I haven’t received the modalities how the facility will work,” Tongofa said.

“I think they are working on that and as soon as they are done they will favour me with the information. Only then will I be able to tell you how the SMEs will access the facility.”

The deputy minister said NBCZ was not a branch under his ministry.

“It is not part of us,” Tongofa said. “They are our partners just like ILO (International Labour Organisation). They negotiated for the facility with a South African company and then they came to us.

“I do not know whether they are registered with RBZ or not,” he added.

Asked whether the facility was genuine, he said: “I have trust with the deal. There is nothing amiss as far as I am concerned.”

Comments (8)

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GALLERYCARTRIDGES - 8 August 2014

Borrow at your own peril!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ndini uya - 8 August 2014

There is no transparency here guys. Guzah is a man of questionable character. Why won`t he come in the open with the names of the other trustees. These guys are trying to make money through the $1000.00 fee they are charging (this truly day light robbery). I do not believe a second that the Guzah and Chiyangwa`s have genuinely earned their fortunes. They all come up with these scams in order to enrich themselves. Secondly the deputy Minister goes on to unveil a fund he does not even know how it operates (this shows how much Mugabe needs to independently verify the callibre of the ministers he has honeslty). Apply with these guys at your on peril. I believe Chiyangwa is also involved. WATCH OUT GUYS>>>>>>>>

Vanhu - 8 August 2014

Indigenisation and Youth development Minister Mathias Tongofa aren`t you ashamed of yourself. To go on and unveil a fund you do not know how it operates and do not have information on please please. If I were Mugabe I would have fired you with immediate effect. Minister Nhema please watch your deputy very carefully, I believe he is a fake.

Callibre - 8 August 2014

ITS A SCAM

Harare - 8 August 2014

hamuzive here kuti keith guza zimbavha risina kana form 2. Ask cid fraud squad about the background of this man.

shuwa shuwa - 18 November 2014

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