Dr Judith Kateera: We have to Develop Banks!

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Permanent Secretary in the Macro Economic Planning and Development Ministry Dr Judith Kateera has said that Zimbabwe needs to develop the banks that are giving low interests rates to depositors and offering high charges on servicing loans during a workshop with investors in Harare.

Dr Kateera said that such a practice was one of the reasons why depositors are not leaving money in  banks but are rather using the financial institutions as a way of channeling out salaries.

“Banks we have to be very patriotic; we have to develop our banking sector. I want the banks to come up with new ideas, be innovative,” said Dr Kateera.

“In America and other developed countries they have their own mobile banking but they have the banks.”

Zimbabwean bankers have in the past experienced undesirable effects in financial institution due to economic challenges that have been facing the land locked country.

Queues have been seen at banks in Zimbabwe’s urban areas as people waited to get cash as financial shortage hit the country forcing the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to bring in the bond notes as a rescue.

The bond notes could not solve the cash crunch as the bankers spent the whole nights on queues with industries also not getting foreign currency to buy raw materials for manufacturing produce.

Zimbabweans also lost money in banks after the 2008 economic crisis and the invested cash was never recovered and this lowered the depositors’ confidence in the banking system.

Kateera discusses about developing the banking sector as mobile money has been taking over from banks.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (POTRAZ) reported on the second-quarter abridged postal and telecommunications sector that the number of active mobile money subscriptions increased by 3.4% to reach 3,352,476 from 3,251,784 active subscriptions recorded in the previous quarter.

“Mobile money has become a popular and convenient method of paying for goods and services amidst cash shortages. The introduction of bank to mobile wallet transfers has also contributed to the growth in mobile money transactions,” states the POTRAZ report.

“Mobile money services registered the highest increase in contribution to total revenue by 2.9% to record 13.1% from 10.2% recorded in the previous quarter.”

Investors met with Macro Economic Planning and Development Ministry in Harare to discuss about the Special Economic Zones, the National Investment Laws and the Harmonisation of Investment Laws.

The Permanent Secretary assured investors that all that was discussed in the workshop will be implemented.

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