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CLOSED VILLAGE BANKING MEMBERS CRY FOR THEIR MONEY

By ANDREW MUKOMA
LIVINGSTONE members of ONO and Comsave, the two village banking institutions which were closed for alleged financial irregularities, have requested the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and other institutions to state their position on other credit associations that are still operating.
The members said the BoZ, Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ) and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) should quickly advise on the way forward because other institutions had continued with Village Banking concept along the same lines.
In July this year, the DEC seized accounts for COMSAVE Credit Union as well as ONO Savings and Credit Association, (OSCA) for violating the Banking and Financial Services Act.
But since the exercise took place, the authorities had not been able to state their position leaving the affected members complaining.
Some members told the Daily Nation that they had been seeking the intervention of President Edgar Lungu through the Livingstone District Commissioner and PF Provincial chairperson Lawrence Evans but to no avail.
The members who preferred to remaining anonymity, pleaded that President Lungu should show mercy on the two institutions for trading beyond their boundary and allow them to refund members.
“One needs to give thumbs up to the two Directors of these institutions for assisting the Government in putting more money in the citizens’ pockets and alleviating poverty in the country.
“Marketeers, orphans, widows, retirees, farmers, teachers, police men and women, workers in the hospitality industry who have been sent home are just some of the examples of persons who are members of the two institutions,” one of the members said.
They said that the affected members had now been forced to borrow from the streets. where the interest rates were as high as 50 per cent per month.
“We were told investigations are not yet concluded and we are supposed to wait. Our worry is how long are we supposed to wait because some people borrowed?
Our Monies that we invested has stopped earning interest and this is greatly disadvantaging us, we also used to borrow our money from the two institutions and because of the seizing of the accounts our money has remained stagnant and with our 20 kwacha per dollar psychological barrier broken, this even puts us at a great disadvantage,” one of them said.
The ONO and Comsave Livingstone members stated that Zambia needed to embrace such village Banks operated by Zambians.
“We strongly request Bank of Zambia, Bankers Association of Zambia and DEC to state their position on these others credit

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