Zimbabwe Finance Minister says you cannot borrow money to pay lobola because a woman is not a tractor


Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says people should borrow money for productive purposes and chided that one cannot borrow money to pay lobola-bride price- for example, because a woman is not a tractor.

Speaking in the Senate during the second reading of the proposed Movable Property Security Interests Bill which will allow Zimbabweans to use things like livestock and cars as collateral to borrow money from financial institutions, Chinamasa said Zimbabweans had to change their mindsets to realise that they were not poor and could not grow their business without borrowing.

“You cannot create wealth using own resources,” he said.  “You cannot raise yourselves using your own boot straps. You can yes, but the journey maybe too long to a point where you never reach where you want to go until you are an old man.  So those who have initiatives cannot grow businesses without borrowing,” he said before being corrected by Senate President Edna Madzongwe to add “woman” instead of just ending on old man.

Chinamasa said it was important for Zimbabweans to change their mindsets and realise that they were not poor at all.

“A person will have 20 goats and he still has the audacity to tell others that he is a poor person and that he should be able to be dependent on the handouts given by the State,” he said.

“That is the mindset that we want to change. They must realise that they have got assets. Often I am very amused Madam President when in Makoni District, there are a lot of tobacco farmers. You ask one of them what he does and the person will say I am not employed, and yet he is a tobacco farmer delivering tobacco at the Auction Floors.

“So, that is the mindset that we want to change. All of us do not think that we can earn a livelihood when working for yourselves and even in terms of our surveys, we exclude all those people who are taking tobacco to the Auction Floors. We tend to regard them as unemployed. It is not correct.

“Those who are in artisanal mining, we take them as unemployed because we find them having sand all over their bodies and we end up saying they are not employed and yet they are probably richer than some of us. That is the mindset that I think this Bill seeks to change.”

Chinamasa said Zimbabweans must also realise that raring cattle, sheep and goats was a business and those assets need to be traded.

“You must never fall into a situation where you cannot pay your children’s school fees and yet you have got 50 head of cattle or you have got 30 goats and you do not pay for your child’s school fees because you do not realise that you can do business from trading in these assets,’ he said.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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