NANCY MWAPE, Lusaka
GOVERNMENT has launched a Civil Service and Allied Workers of Zambia savings and credit co-operative expected to improve living standards of civil servants
and contribute to economic development.
Launching the Saving and Credit Co-operative society (SACCO) yesterday, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Margaret Mwanakatwe bemoaned the poor saving culture in the country.
Mrs Mwanakatwe called on workers countrywide to emulate civil servants by forming their own groupings to improve the culture of saving and credit provision.
“Government expects to see financial co-operatives make a significant contribution to the Zambian economy. It is anticipated that SACCO will help improve the standard of living of its members,” she said.
She said Government’s move of transferring the regulatory and policy matters of the co-operative enterprises to her ministry was meant to foster co-operative development in all sectors of the economy.
She said there is a misconception that people’s empowerment policy is meant for Government to set aside huge funds for people to draw at will.
“Experience has shown that such loans are small and cannot meet the demand. It is for this reason that a private hand like SACCO is essential to complement Government’s efforts,” she said.
SACCO chairperson Agness Ndila said the co-operative was formed after seeing the living standards of most civil servants deteriorate as a result of their incomes constantly being a target of many micro lenders that have mushroomed.
Ms Ndila said the co-operative anticipates to register a membership close to 40,000 in two years’ time with an estimated turnover of K8 million every month as it promotes itself across the country.
“We are aware of the threats posed by our competitors who will try to give us shockwaves during our operations. Our strength lies in continuous research, developing innovative products and services that will satisfy the economic and social needs of our members,” she said.