THE Zimbabwe Miners’ Federation (ZMF) in collaboration with MetBank launched its electronic multi-purpose membership card for small scale miners in Bubi District, Matabeleland North province on Wednesday.
The electronic card has various technological functions including being linked to a mobile phone, which enables the miner to access loans from the bank, access mining equipment offered by the bank, confirm membership, purchase goods and pay bills including a funeral cash cover amongst other functions.
In his address during the card’s launch at Nkenyane area in Matabeleland North, MetBank regional manager Mr Misheck Manjengwa said ZMF-affiliated small scale miners would get loans from the bank upon producing the card.
“For the small scale miner in Matabeleland to be given a loan by MetBank they should be in possession of a ZMF card, which has various functions including being linked to a funeral cash cover from $500 to $5 000 depending on the type of premium one chooses,” he said.
“The bank is also working on linking the card to medical services and also so that it can draw fuel at designated service stations. We have also noticed with concern that there are numerous disputes in mining so we want to link the card to legal services also.”
Mr Manjengwa said the loans being availed by MetBank to the small scale miners have a 12 percent interest per annum meaning one percent per month and the loans are paid due to the applicant’s specifications and the period is from six months up to five years or more.
Mr Manjengwa also said that the miner’s claims will be used by the bank as a form of security while those without claims can use group guarantees of three to five people as a form of collateral security.
He highlighted that MetBank was working on improving the card so that it could be used internationally.
“The card as soon as you get it shortly you will be given an FCA card where your greenback will be deposited and currently MetBank is working on improving the card so that it can be used as an international debit card hopefully this will be done by the first quarter of 2019,” he said.
MetBank plans to also set up a pre-business set up facility to fund small scale miners’ operations at the business’ early stage of development mainly to do with issues of licensing. ZMF vice president, Mr Marufu Sithole and scores of miners including women attended the event.