GETHSEMANE MWIZABI, Ndola
IN THE spirit of improving conditions of service for its employees, the Workers’ Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Public Service Micro Finance Company to enable staff access duty free brand new vehicles at affordable rates.
With the MoU in place, members of staff at WCFCB would be able to obtain loans for cars and agro equipment.
This would be done on a tax waved basis so that employees could get cars and agro equipment of excellent quality straight from the showroom.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held at the just-ended Zambia International Trade Fair, WCFCB commissioner and chief executive officer Elizabeth Lungu-Nkumbula said the move had been done to empower employees of the board because some may venture into farming as they prepare for retirement.
“It gives me much excitement to declare this relationship between Public Service Micro Finance and Workers Compensation and it is hoped that this relationship will bring even better things in future,” Dr Nkumbula said.
The commissioner further mentioned that WCFCB was in line with Government’s desire of maintaining institutional costs within minimal amounts by ensuring that motor vehicle-related costs of the Board are reduced to minimum amounts.
And Public Service Micro Finance Chief executive officer Mubanga Mwiko said his institution was pleased to sign an MoU with the Board, saying there where fringe benefits attached to products offered by his institution.
“We are talking brand new vehicles not second hand vehicles. We also offer loans for agro-equipment if you want to venture into farming,” he said
He said his company has partnered with the various renowned motor vehicle dealers in Zambia to enable public service workers access to brand new motor vehicles.
“The motor vehicles are bought duty free, ensuring that the products are affordable. These loans are paid over a period of 5 years at an interest rate of 18 percent,” he said.
The Public Service Micro Finance Company is wholly owned by the Zambian government and is mandated to provide affordable loans and other innovative financial solutions to public service workers across the country. The company was established in March 2013 and currently has one office in Lusaka.
The establishment of the company was premised on the fact that most of public service workers face challenges in accessing finances from the conventional banking sector and micro finance institutions that normally charge high lending rates.
Since inception, the company has been able to disburse a total of K162, 520,600.00 in form of personal loans to 7,316 public service workers across the country.
Ultimately, access to PSMFC loans will create an extra stream of income for board employees especially those who would venture in agriculture.
The author is communications officer at Workers Compensation Fund Control Board.
GETHSEMANE MWIZABI, Ndola