HARARE - A new law presented to the National Assembly on Tuesday that allows rural poor to deposit cattle as collateral for cash loans has received wide cross-party support.
The Movable Property Security Interests Bill enjoins the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to compile and administer a collateral-security register in which small-business operators and individuals can register their movable assets as security for credit.
Commercial banks in Zimbabwe will be required to accept livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep as collateral for cash loans as government taps into husbandry sector worth $1bn.
Vehicles, television sets, refrigerators, computers and other household appliances will also be acceptable as collateral.
Banks are “stuck in the old ways of doing things and failing to respond to the needs of our highly informalised economy,” Chinamasa said.
MDC MP for Kuwadzana East Nelson Chamisa described the Bill as “progressive.”
“It would appear there is a fresh breath, a breeze of wisdom that is blowing through government and it must be appreciated,” he said.
“We are beginning to see some very technically-sound Bills coming, not corrosive, atrocious or seeking to take away people’s rights but to entrench the rights of our people and the dignity and integrity of Zimbabweans.”
Chamisa said the Bill is immediately going to open the flood gates to development and growth.
Zanu PF MP for Zaka central Paradzai Chakona hailed the creation of collateral registry.
“I also just want to comment on the main benefits of the Bill itself, especially on the financial inclusion that we are also now including in the financial sector, those that are marginalised and especially those in the rural areas,” he said.
Binga North MDC MP Prince Dubeko Sibanda said: “It is a Bill that shows creativity on the part of the Executive in trying to empower the majority of our population . . . I strongly believe that this is a Bill which is going to empower our people without unnecessarily looting from other people.”
Mazowe South Zanu PF MP Fortune Chasi suggested that before the law becomes operational, the Finance ministry effects a roll out programme.
“This programme will educate our people to understand precisely what is going on so that the institutions that are going to be playing critical parts in this exercise in particular the Reserve Bank, understand and prime themselves for the mammoth task that they are going to be playing in order for the policy that underlies this law to be effective,” he said.
MDC vice president Thokozani Khupe said women must be allowed to use property which is registered in their husband’s names as collateral.
“Women have tried to go to financial institutions to borrow money, but financial institutions look at women as people who are not credit-worthy because they do not have either immovable or movable property.
“. . . (I) propose that women be allowed use property which is registered in their husband’s names as collateral so that they are able to access loans from financial institutions.”