Borrowers should deal only with registered microfinance institutions

By Tawanda Mpoperi

The need for client protection when it comes to microfinance has never been more important than it is now in such a complex economic environment and in an industry with such a high number of players.

According to the Reserve Bank Monetary Policy Statement for 2020, there are 212 microfinance institutions in operation. With so many microfinance institutions and the rapid digitalisation of business processes, as well as unregistered institutions advertising what appear to be attractive loans, it is easy in such a dynamic environment to be taken advantage of and caught up in a debt trap.

It is in these uncertain times that client protection becomes imperative to ensure a high level of ethics and integrity in the microfinance industry.

Armed with the Microfinance Act regulators have made a decent endeavour to place client protection at the forefront of the service delivery standards expected of registered microfinance institutions.

It is important for every borrower to know these service standards and be wary of any attempt to expose them to potentially harmful financial situations.

Microfinance institutions are permitted to operate only when fully licensed and registered with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. In order to safeguard your wealth and peace of mind it is important that you engage only with a registered microfinance institution that operates in compliance with client protection regulations.

Every registered microfinance institution is issued annually with a certificate, which it is required to display prominently wherever it conducts its business.

Borrowers need to be wary of a recent trend that has emerged in the economy of some unregistered lenders who come under the guise of offering guaranteed instant loans with lax loan application requirements and in turn charge exorbitant interest rates.

A number of unfortunate borrowers have fallen prey to these unregistered lenders and have lost their entire life savings in the process. However, when you deal with registered institutions, on the other hand, there is a set outline for recourse to the regulator which guarantees you of professional and ethical conduct from your microfinancier.

Integrity and transparency are significant factors that any borrower should expect in all transactions with a lending institution.

The Microfinance Act provides a clear outline of the need for full disclosure of interest rates and all other charges on loans to borrowers.

In addition to the requirement that these charges be stipulated in the loan agreement, the Act requires that loan charges be prominently displayed at the premises operated by the microfinance institution.

This is required so that every potential client of a registered institution is made aware of the charges and can make an informed decision to borrow without being deceived by material facts put in fine print.

One major issue that unregistered lenders find difficult to disclose to would-be clients is the high costs and risks associated with borrowing, as borrowing comes with its own potential pitfalls, primarily the risk of becoming over indebted.

Uncontrolled borrowing can lead to a situation where debt obligations outweigh the available income. This is a very uncomfortable position to be in.

With the current fluid economic conditions, the propensity among individuals to borrow increases, as people try to subsidize strained incomes. Given these precarious circumstances it may lead one to take out more loans than they can afford and end up overburdened with debt.

Although potential borrowers consciously apply for a loan in the full knowledge of their existing obligations, it is incumbent upon the lender to protect the client by ensuring that the borrower is not already suffering from too much debt.

With the help of the Reserve Bank, a Central Credit Registry has been established where all credit obligations to financial institutions are recorded. This is one of a raft of measures put in place to ensure that financial institutions and would-be borrowers alike are not exploited.

It allows any registered credit institution to cross-reference information about a borrower to verify his or her credit status and help assess the client’s borrowing capacity.

During the normal business of a microfinance institution, employees will come across confidential financial and business strategy information provided by borrowers for credit purposes.

Data protection principles require that this information be used only for the purposes for which it was requested. Should any member of a microfinance institution access your information for any purpose other than that for which it was initially obtained, you have a right of recourse.

Zimnat Microfinance has been in existence since 2012. It boasts of a solid financial background being, as it is, part of the Zimnat family.

Deliberate efforts have been made to guarantee client protection. Client protection principles have been embedded in the entirety of our service delivery channels, systems and processes.

With Zimnat, you can rest assured that you will be served by professionally trained staff offering high quality and affordable products and services to meet your financial needs. With branches and resident agents located across the whole of Zimbabwe, we strive to ensure efficient and excellent client service to meet your needs and make your life better.

Zimnat is a diversified financial group operating in Zimbabwe and associated with Sanlam South Africa, the largest non-banking financial services group on the continent. Zimnat has four business units, namely Zimnat General Insurance, Zimnat Life Assurance, Zimnat Financial Services and Zimnat Asset Management.

Contact us today on our toll-free number 08080063/4/6

Alternatively, you can send us an email on

Visit our social media,


- End


From the CEO's Desk

Welcome to our final newsletter for the year. As the year comes to an end, it presents the perfect opportunity to reflect and reassess our plan and check if we have indeed made life better for our customers and stakeholders. In the spirit of celebrating our achievements, I would like to dedicate this communication to the outstanding efforts of the entire team which has resulted in our businesses being recognized on a few fronts.

Firstly, a hearty congratulations to the Grand Re team who have broken new ground. The business has been upgraded by 5 notches from BB+ to AA. This is an amazing feat and is testimony of all their hard work and efforts they have put in throughout the year.  Well done to Tatenda and the Grand Re team!

Winning is in the Zimnat DNA! Zimnat Life Assurance also got an upgrade in their GCR rating from A- to A, with a stable outlook. Things are moving forward and up at Zimnat.

Earlier on in the year Zimnat General also an upgrade in their GCR rating from A- to A+. This is also an impressive move of two notches from their previous rating. As Zimnat our drive is to keep growing and making life better!

Congratulations also go out to the Zimnat General Insurance team for winning the Customer Service Excellence award for short term insurance. This is the second year running they have won this award. Congrats to Stanley and Patricia and the Customer Service and Zimnat General team for continuing to provide exceptional service. We are expecting even bigger accolades in future.

My final congratulations go to the Marketing team for representing the brand well and winning 8 awards at the Marketing Excellence Awards. The awards are as follows:

  • Top Marketer of the Year Award: Angela Mpala
  • First Runner-Up for the Marketing Oriented CEO of the Year Award: Mustafa Sachak
  • First Runner-Up for the Brand Manager of the Year Award: Shingirai Mazambani
  • The Best Outdoor Media: Zimnat for its Borrowdale Car Crash Billboard, where rocks appear to be tumbling out of a container onto a real car beneath the billboard.
  • First Runner-Up for the Best Print Advert of the Year: Zimnat’s Gadziriro/ Lungiselelo Press advert.
  • First Runner-Up for the Best Customer Engagement and Experience of the Year Award.
  • Second Runner-Up for the Best Social Media and Digital Campaign of the Year
  • Second Runner-Up for the Best TV Advert of the Year.

It is exciting to see that we are now breeding a culture of excellence at Zimnat. In all that we do we want to be the best. As we go into the New Year and grow our businesses 10X, I can only see us dominating our respective markets and indeed “Making life better”.


Zimnat Kwedu/ Ngekhaya

When the unexpected happens…

Financial protection through life insurance in the event of death is a topic that often makes people uncomfortable. However, it is not really an entirely unpleasant conversation.

With life insurance from Zimnat you can stop worrying and start enjoying cover and peace of mind. Simply put, life insurance is the exchange of a relatively small payment of money each month for a larger amount of benefit paid out in the event of death.

Zimnat Life Assurance is a member of the Zimnat Insurance Group, a diversified financial group operating in Zimbabwe and associated with the Sanlam Group, which is the largest non-banking financial services group on the continent.

Most people will at various points in their life work or run a business, earn an income, build a family, grow old, retire and pass on.

Life insurance becomes particularly important in instances where you have a family dependent on you.

In a family where everyone’s livelihood depends on a single income, the moment that income ceases due to either death or retirement everything comes to a standstill.

Life Insurance may not be able to replace the life of a dearly departed family member but it at least guarantees financial security.

Death cannot be controlled or planned. The worst experience for any family is to have to deal with debt while grieving.

If a person dies with an unpaid debt or as a co‑signatory on a loan such as a mortgage, the duty of repaying the debt or servicing the loan falls on the surviving signatory or surviving kin, who may be exposed to the wrath of debt collectors.

The heavy burden of finding repayment solutions will fall on them. Life insurance from Zimnat ensures such predicaments are avoided as it covers debts acquired.

The notion that if one spouse has life insurance the other spouse does not need it, is incorrect. The most advisable thing to do is for both spouses to have life insurance policies, especially when there are children involved.

The loss of one spouse’s income is a financial setback for the family. A life insurance pay-out will cushion the setback, while the other spouse continues to care for the family.

Another misconception about life insurance is that the young and single do not really need it. The opposite is actually true. Better still the premiums are cheaper when you are younger, healthier and at less risk of falling sick.

Financial planning at all stages of your life is vital regardless of your age or marital status. There may be differences in responsibilities and the cover required but when the unexpected happens you need to be prepared for that change in circumstances.

Additionally, life insurance is not limited to spouses and children but can also be taken out for members of the extended family, who often become dependants at some point.

Finally, formally employed people who have life insurance cover through their employer need to remember that it is also important to take out their own personal life cover as the employment-related cover can be affected by loss of employment or change of jobs.

Zimnat is driven to make the lives of its clients better and has the right package for every pocket. Products range from Micro-Funeral Cover to Family Funeral Plan, Security Plan, Personal Pension Plan and Whole Life Plan.

Zimnat ensures that lives continue and dreams are fulfilled. Nothing can beat the peace of mind that comes from knowing that.

Some parting advice: stop worrying about financial obligations for when you are not there, simply get life insurance from Zimnat.

Contact us today on our toll free number 08080063/4/6

Alternatively you can send us an email on or visit our website for a quote.

Customer Services Week

By Patience Mutsvanga

The first week of October every year marks the international world’s commemoration of the Customer Service (CS) Week.

The Customer Services Week is a campaign which is devoted to recognising the importance of customer service and honouring those who serve and support customers with the highest degree of care and professionalism.

The Zimnat Group, together with all the other organisations in Zimbabwe and abroad, commemorated Customer Service Week from the 7th -11th of October 2019 under the theme, ‘” Magic of Service”.

The theme recognized that good service is magical. It can turn an unhappy customer into a satisfied long-term customer.

This year’s celebrations were centred on harvesting referrals from colleagues and walk in clients and creating lasting memories in customer's minds.

The official opening was done at Zimnat Head Office as Luigi, the Zimnat Mascot and the customer service team welcomed staff members and customers as they came in.

It was magical for staff members and they found it too good to believe such that they felt they had to introduce themselves to the team and clarify that they worked for Zimnat and were part of the team.

Different branches unveiled the magic in different ways as they were creating magical memories for their customers calling out clients whose birthdays fell during the week and extending some giveaways to them, serving refreshments to customers, and taking pictures.

Some branches had the privilege of hosting the Zimnat Executive team during this week.

It was a fun filled week and below are some of the highlights.

Highlights of the CS week;

The Magic of Service pool tournament

Clive Tahwa (GB) the Zimnat Group’s 2019 Magic of Service pool tournament Ultimate Champion.

Thabani Sithole (GI) scooped the first runner up award of the Zimnat Group’s 2019 Magic of Service pool tournament.

To seal it off, Andrew Matandana (GI) walked away with the Zimnat Group’s 2019 Magic of Service pool tournament second runner up title.

Sports jersey day

Ronaldo Tahanira had the coolest jersey



Zimnat wins 8 awards at the MAZ Exception Marketing Awards

Zimnat scoops eight Exceptional Marketing awards

Zimnat, a leading player in the insurance and wealth management industry for more than seven decades, won eight awards for marketing excellence at the 2019 Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe  Exceptional Marketing Awards ceremony in Bulawayo on Saturday.

The awards ceremony is held annually in recognition and celebration of excellence for organisations and individuals who have pushed their brands and led successful marketing campaigns during the year.

Zimnat was nominated for 15 of the award categories. It won awards in eight categories.

Its Group Marketing Executive, Angela Mpala, won the Top Marketer of the Year Award, while its Group Chief Executive Officer, Mustafa Sachak, was First Runner-Up for the Marketing Oriented CEO of the Year Award.

Zimnat Life Assurance Marketing Manager Shingirai Mazambani was First Runner-Up for the Brand Manager of the Year Award.

The Best Outdoor Media Prize went to Zimnat for its Borrowdale Car Crash Billboard, where rocks appear to be tumbling out of a container onto a real car beneath the billboard.

First Runner-Up for the Best Print Advert of the Year was Zimnat’s Gadziriro/ Lungiselelo Press advert.

Zimnat was also First Runner-Up for the Best Customer Engagement and Experience of the Year Award.

It was Second Runner-Up for the Best Social Media and Digital Campaign of the Year and for the Best TV Advert of the Year.

Speaking soon after the awards ceremony, Ms Mpala said her team was thrilled and felt honoured to receive such recognition from the industry.

“It is indeed fulfilling to see that our efforts are being noticed and that the brand is growing and becoming more visible in the market,” she said.

“We also want to truly thank our customers for their support and inspiration, without which we would not have achieved this.

“We can promise that there is much more to expect in the future and there will be still more interaction with the brand. Our purpose is to make life better for all and we will maintain this focus,” she said.

At the same awards last year, Zimnat received five awards for excellence and work done in 2018.

The Zimnat Group has four main business units, namely general insurance, life assurance, asset management and microfinance.

The group is driven by a determination to make life better. It is associated with the Sanlam Group, the largest non-banking financial institution on the continent.

GCR upgrades Zimnat General Insurance rating to A+

GCR upgrades Zimnat General Insurance rating to A+

Global Credit Rating (GCR)  revised Zimnat General Insurance’s national scale financial strength rating to A+(zw) Stable Outlook, from its previous rating of A-(zw).The financial strength rating (formerly claims paying ability) went up two notches.

GCR is the leading emerging market focused ratings agency, rating the full spectrum of security classes based on the best international standards.

It accords both International Scale and National Scale ratings. Together with its international affiliates, it rates almost 3 000 organisations and debt issues spanning four continents.

Explaining the rating upgrade GCR commended Zimnat’s sound business profile and disciplined approach to underwriting and capital management.

This comes after Zimnat has been on employing value preservation strategies, to counter the uncertainties presented by the operating environment.

“The insurer has maintained strong brand recognition and evidenced healthy growth momentum over the review period, with a significant increase in market share in the 2018 financial year, underpinned by comparatively high-risk uptake in key lines of business,” GCR said.

More operational flexibility comes with such a good rating, positioning Zimnat General Insurance as a strong short-term insurer of choice supported by the quest to provide the market with realistic insurance cover products that help clients achieve their set objectives and make their lives better.

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Winners

Events – Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

By Takudzwa Zuze

Zimnat offered its social media followers an opportunity to win an all-expenses paid trip to Cape Town to participate in the annual Sanlam Marathon.

The marathon took place from September 22 to 23. It is the only Gold status marathon on the African continent.

Every year the marathon attracts over 23 international running clubs, including a world class elite field of athletes and more than 15 000 runners.

As a way of making life better, Zimnat gave away an all-expenses paid trip to three lucky winners – two social media followers and one member of staff – who participated in the marathon.

On arrival the three of them were chauffeur driven from the airport to the Radisson Red hotel situated at the world renowned Waterfront and had welcome dinner at The Yard, where they joined other runners invited by Sanlam across Africa, during which they shared ideas on how best to tackle the marathon the next day.

Here’s a video of the journey and stay in Cape Town for you to enjoy!

After the race they were invited to the Sanlam hospitality tent to unwind and relax over some food and drinks, after which they had enough time to go shopping and sight-seeing of what is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

“We wouldn’t have made it without you Zimnat. Thank you for such a beautiful experience,” said Lilian whose eyes were filled with tears of joy and excitement.

Zimnat group marketing executive Angela Mpala was also excited about how the event turned out.

“As Zimnat, we continue to make life better in every way that we can,” she said. “Our partnership with Sanlam, the largest non-banking financial institution on the continent, provided us with an opportunity to enable Lilian, Tariro, and Patricia to participate in this top-class marathon, alongside athletes from many other countries.






Zimnat offers travel insurance

Zimnat offers travel insurance

Over the past 400 years insurance has become an intrinsic part of our lives. Whether in a store, driving, sleeping in a hotel, visiting a friend abroad  or even walking to work, you or your assets are to some extent covered by insurance.

Travel insurance is one of the things we often forget to arrange in our rush to get ready for a trip, yet accidents and emergencies do happen.

These are never welcome but if they occur when you are away from home they come with an extra level of stress, since obtaining help in a foreign country can prove a challenge and be very frustrating.

If you are travelling anywhere in the world, whether alone or with your family and friends and whether  for business, cross border trading or pleasure, Zimnat can at least make sure that an accident or emergency does not become a total disaster.

Zimnat General Insurance offers you and your loved ones cover that will help make your life better in your time of  need, with cover ranging from  emergency medical expenses and illnesses, including pre-existing conditions such as HIV, to legal assistance, transmission of urgent messages, replacement of travel documents, money or credit cards, injury, flight cancellations and even lost baggage.

Perhaps you or a member of your family falls sick and has to be hospitalised while on holiday, leaving you faced with huge hospital bills, or you are left stranded at a border because your travel documents and money have been stolen.

Situations like these are why travel insurance is a must. When you have travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits, you can obtain reimbursement for prepaid, non-refundable trip costs when you have to cancel your journey for a covered reason.

Covered reasons can include serious illness, injury or death of the insured person, a travel companion or a family member or a natural disaster or other event that renders your destination uninhabitable.

When you are wondering whether paying for travel insurance is worth it, weigh up the small cost of buying insurance against the massive costs of a medical emergency overseas or replacing stolen or lost goods and money.

For business people, whether they are travelling to other continents or to a neighbouring country, perhaps as a cross border trader, Zimnat travel insurance provides cover for travel delays, lost trade samples and cancellation costs.

It even has an optional hospital cash back plan in the event you are hospitalised.

For those travelling as groups, whether on holiday or on an educational trip, Zimnat offers affordable group cover schemes. A group might be made up, for instance, of friends, family members or students.

Insurance can be really affordable. When you request a quotation for travel insurance, Zimnat will  present you with multiple coverage options, so you can pick the plan that best suits your trip and  budget. The best way to find a low-cost travel insurance plan is to request a quote for your next trip and plan ahead.



Health and Fitness

How Exercise Combats Stress and Improves Mental Health

By Shadreck Mhlanga

Exercise is excellent for improving many different aspects of our physical wellbeing and is especially beneficial for our mental and emotional health.

Exercise and mental health go hand in hand, and of recent, science has a lot to contribute to this topic.

Let's look at the mental health benefits of exercise and see why we feel like a million bucks after a spin class or get that post-working out "high" after a morning run – as well as the long-term health benefits.

Mental health benefits of exercise

Helps with managing major depressive disorder

After reviewing several randomised trials testing the efficacy of exercise on chronic depression, a team of researchers found that participants who trained for three or more sessions each lasting 45 to 60 minutes saw a notable improvement in their symptoms.

On average, the participants began noticing a difference after around four weeks of regular exercise. Still, the researchers suggest working out regularly for at least 10-12 weeks to start seeing more quantifiable results.

Anxiety relief

You’ve probably heard of runner’s high, that energised feeling and sense of euphoria you get after an intense workout. That’s due to your body releasing hormones - enkephalins and endorphins - that can improve your mood and relieve stress. Although these feel-good hormones are integral for creating this sensation, the fact is, exercise also a great way to refocus and feel rooted in the present moment.

Think about it – when you concentrate on an intense workout, what do you think about most of the time?

Probably about how you're out of breath, how your feet are running in sync with the beat of the music you're listening to, or maybe how much your arms are burning while lifting weights.

Focusing on your body rather than ruminating about worries can help you realize you're more than your thoughts.

May help with confidence and self-esteem

Low self-esteem and confidence levels are common among people suffering from mental illnesses or distress. Exercise shines in this realm once again.

Just think about how great you feel when you complete a workout, especially when you weren’t in the mood to work out in the first place.

Small accomplishments like these can add up and make you feel fantastic.

By creating a workout plan that you can stick to – and setting goals that you can achieve – you’ll start feeling a sense of achievement that will continue to grow as you keep moving forward with your training.

In one study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, researchers found that feelings of wellbeing and heightened self-confidence improve after just 30 minutes of exercise.

In this study, the effects analysed lasted around 20 minutes following the exercise session, but as we discussed earlier in the case of depression, exercise seems to have an impact that's more far-reaching when it's completed regularly over several weeks.