A friend in need is a friend indeed! In less than 10 days after losing their valuable property to the fire that gutted Tsoka Market on July 30, 2014, vendors at the market had a pleasant surprise on Friday when Opportunity Bank Malawi (OBM) presented a K4.1 million compensation to vendors who got business loans from the bank.
The sight of OBM officials at the market could have been easily misconceived by some vendors that the officials were out to recover loans accessed by some of them at OBM but it was never the case as OBM’s Chief Operating Officer Wilson Moleni delivered the good news to scores of vendors that gathered in one of the market blocks partially destroyed by the fire.
“We at OBM strive to empower the economically marginalized Malawians be it financially, socially, spiritually or physically. We respond to Jesus Christ’s call to serve. You, our customers are our pride and treasurer, as such we will be with you in both times of joy and sorrow.
“That is why we have come today with Credit Health Insurance. We hope to mitigate the suffering and setbacks the fire has brought to the many lives of people that bank with us. Credit Health is another innovation from Opportunity Bank in conjunction with MicroEnsure and Nico Life,” explained Moleni, drawing applause from the vendors.
From the total amount, each of the affected customers had an amount of K25,000 deposited into his or her OBM account.
Shedding more light on Credit Health Insurance, Country Project Manager for MicroEnsure Gift Livata said the product covers borrowers in times of sickness, bereavement or accidents such as the market fire.
“With the Opportunity Bank/MicroEnsure Credit Health Insurance, we do not wait for the customer to lodge a complaint or claim. If disaster like this strikes, we rush to the customer as we have done. Nobody approached us after the fire accident,” said Livata.
Speaking on behalf of the vendors, chairman for Tsoka Market Mwala Jawadu hailed Opportunity Bank for the timely gesture.
“We are very thankful to OBM for this timely gesture. You’re the first bank t visit us after the accident. When the accident occurred, the State President visited us and gave us K10 million before MCP President (Dr Lazarus Chakwera) also came and gave us K1 million.
“We are, however, concerned that organizations that are normally in the fore front assisting victims in such calamities are not coming to visit us. People have lost their fortunes here and we cannot manage to raise money for rent, school fees and other necessities,” said Jawadu.