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Expectations are high that the economic wellbeing of Malawi Defense Force (MDF) soldiers will be enhanced following the launch of a Sacco for the soldiers over the weekend.
According to MDF representatives, the initiative will promote saving culture among the soldiers but also provide a platform where they will be able to access soft loans.
Dubbed Msilikali Sacco, the cooperative will also incorporate spouses of MDF soldiers.
MDF Deputy Commander responsible for administration, Vincent Nundwe, said many soldiers are excited with the development and he said over 1,000 soldiers have already registered.
“Sacco is very important because most of the time, as Malawians, we are economically challenged and maybe we would like to invest but we do not have any place to get soft loans. That is why it pleased the management of the MDF to open our own Sacco,” Nundwe said.
He went on to acknowledge local companies and banks that have assisted in coming up with a banking hall at the Kamuzu Barracks for the Sacco.
Reserve Bank Director of Micro-finance and Capital Market Supervision, Lanjesi Sinoya, lauded MDF for the initiative, stressing that it corresponds with the central bank’s financial inclusion drive.
“We are excited about this because we want the general public, civil servants inclusive, to have access to finance. We welcome this development where the defence force community is going to have access to finance,” Sinoya said.
President of the Central Region Chapter Two Sacco, Justin Dzinkambani, pointed out that cooperative societies have proved to be the number one tool for economic empowerment among families.
“What happens with most of the Sacco’s is that at the end of the year, when you make profits, you share them back. In fact, the interest that you were charged goes back to you. In that case, you don’t suffer but benefit out of it, so cooperatives is the way to go for Malawi,” Dzimkambani said.