Female politicians form trust fund

TOP female politicians from Zanu PF and the two MDC formations have put their differences aside to set up a women’s investment trust fund aimed at economically empowering women.

The trust will see disenfranchised women buying into the investment trust fund through broad-based shareholding.
Regional Integration and International Cooperation minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC-M), Co-Home Affairs minister Theresa Makone (MDC-T) and Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development minister Olivia Muchena (Zanu PF) will form the board of trustees and they plan to launch in two to three weeks.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga told Zimbabwe Independent this week that the trust fund would portray the inclusivity in government.
“Women will buy into the trust fund and this is in line with the indigenisation theme. As women we don’t have resources and we never participate in the economy as individuals, so we will pool our money together and buy into it,” she said.

“If government decides to privatise or commercialise, then we can say we want to buy a stake in those companies. We then go and buy shares. We can buy into areas that are pro-women and we would want to end up going into real estate or any other area.”

Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the trust would be run like the Women’s Investment Portfolio Holdings (Wiphold), which is an investment and operating group owned by black women in South Africa. 

Wiphold was established in 1995 with seed capital of R500 000 and in 1999 became the first women’s group to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It de-listed in 2003 in order to increase the economic ownership of black women in the company.

From a boutique investment fund, Wiphold quickly established itself as one the key drivers of economic empowerment and one of the movers and shakers in the South African financial services sector.

The trustees, she said, were talking to big banks like the African Development Bank asking them to match dollar for dollar of whatever amount the trust fund would have raised.

“We as trustees won’t touch the money, but will help with where to invest the money or where investment opportunities exist,” Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.
 
Faith Zaba