Bulawayo's Eco Bank shuns locals 'hires Harare workers'
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The Matabeleland Chapter of Zimbabwe Entrepreneurs Youth Action (ZEYA) is up in arms with the bank for allegedly setting up business in the city without employing people from Matabeleland.
"We are concerned by reports reaching us, which suggest that Eco Bank has employed staff from Harare to do the work of renovating and setting up office at site," says ZEYA Matabeleland Chairman, Pritchard Mkwebu in a letter to Eco Bank Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Daniel Sackey.
The letter was delivered by three ZEYA representatives to Eco Bank's offices in Bradfield suburb in Bulawayo. It lists the jobs sourced out to Harare companies.
"We regret that you have employed companies from outside Bulawayo such as Creative Systems to do the partitioning, Pown Engineering to do air conditioning and an unnamed Harare man to do the tiling. The only materials of note that are from this region are a few lengths of timber from PG Bulawayo," reads Mkwebu's letter.
Eco Bank is refurbishing its new premises on the ground floor of Parkade Centre, National Railways of Zimbabwe building situated at the corner of Fife Street and 9th Avenue. The branch manager of Eco Bank, Jenny Shoultz was asked for her comments on the concerns raised by ZEYA youths.
"Everything is done in Harare. I will give you the person in charge of that branch," said Shoultz. "I refer you to Mr. Gift Paulous. He is my boss in Harare," continued Shoultz. ZimEye sought a comment from Mr. Paulos in Harare and was told that, "Harare has not yet received the correspondence from ZEYA."
However, a statement was made by ZEYA's Director of Community Development, Mr. Alfred Chinanayi:
"We believe in youth empowerment and community development which is an agenda that His Excellence Robert Gabriel Mugabe and the Honourable Minister of Youth Development Savior Kasukuwere are very passionate about."
ZEYA's petition to Eco Bank comes in the wake of calls by civic groups for the adoption of governance system based on the devolution of power. For example, documents in ZimEye's possession show that loan applications made recently to Central African Building Society under the "216 Approved CABS Youth Loans as at 16 March 2012â€³ scheme have so far seen a few youths from Matabeleland benefit while a majority of applicants from Mashonaland received loans.
Furthermore, promises made by Government to disburse funds under the Distressed and Marginal Areas Fund (DIMAF) programme seem to have stalled with Bulawayo's textile and clothing companies yet to benefit.
"Opening of a branch in Bulawayo will go a long way in service provision especially the creation of employment opportunities for many youthful Zimbabweans in the region," reads the letter from ZEYA
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