Civil Servant Borrowing Practices: A Determinant of Poverty in Zimbabwe

Tan Zhongming, Tinashe Mangudhla, Reginald Masimba Mbona

Abstract


In assessing microfinance institutions (MFIs) and civil servants' perspectives on borrowing in Zimbabwe, we examine the purpose and rationale of MFIs establishments. Thus, in an attempt to understand the reason behind high borrowing, we also considered loan terms, the nature of loans issued, and the uses of MFIs borrowed funds among households. Driven by the exploratory approach, qualitative research involving semi-structured interviews and observation methods were applied in this study. Using, the purpose of the loan, pricing of loans, repayment terms, and loan terms, interview questions were designed and conducted. Our results show that MFIs loans are: short term loans, income (salary) based; and, these loans are mainly for immediate household consumption needs not an investment. This study also indicates that loan application requirements are more favorable for employed households, especially public sector employees. Even though civil servants have a better advantage in accessing MFIs loans, in the long run, they are likely to remain in poverty; since their purpose of borrowing is geared towards family expenses. Also, MFIs prevailing interest rates (high), evidenced with shorter repayment periods, reflect their failure to pull borrowers out of poverty; however, creating an interdependence syndrome of continuous borrowing. Since we focused on lending practices of households, our results serve as a basis of a joint policy formulation in combating poverty. Thus, understanding poverty through the borrowing of employed citizens aids in grasping the interconnectedness of sectors; which, is an essential tool for sustainable development and strategic planning.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ber.v10i2.16832

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