Swazi Observer - - BUSINESS - By Njab­ulo Dlamini

IT is a point of no re­turn for the pro­posed Chris­tian bank by the Sich­waga Wealth So­lu­tions In­vest­ment (SWESI), a com­pany that is 100 per cent owned by the Swazi­land Con­fer­ence of Churches.

SWESI Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Rev­erend Win­ston Shongwe said the project was def­i­nitely tak­ing shape, not­ing that 2018 had great things in store for them.

Ad­dress­ing founder mem­ber sub­scribers (FMS) at Al­con House in Manzini on Satur­day, Rev­erend Shongwe said since 2016, they had been try­ing to meet the de­mands of reg­u­la­tory bodies such as the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity (FSRA) and could now con­fi­dently state that ev­ery­thing was well on course.

“They (FSRA) are fully be­hind us since they are aware of our ev­ery move and have also li­censed us to su­per­vise the mi­cro fi­nance provider (MFP) which is wait­ing to be rolled out soon,” Shongwe said.

He said there was def­i­nitely no go­ing back now on the pro­posed Chris­tian bank, whose set­ting up is pro­jected to cost in the re­gion of over E160 mil­lion.

Rev­erend Shongwe urged the brethren to pray for the project’s suc­cess and also con­trib­ute through cap­i­tal­is­ing it so that its sus­te­nance is guar­an­teed.

Fur­ther, he clar­i­fied that there were no shares be­ing sold by SWESI through this project as this was a busi­ness ven­ture fully owned by the SCC. In the same note, Shongwe re­minded in­di­vid­u­als who had out of their own vo­li­tion parted with E16 600 into SWESI that E1 600 was non-re­deemable or non­re­fund­able as it was trans­ferred to the SCC to cap­i­talise it. Only E15 000 of this fig­ure would be in­vested with the SWESI on a fixed in­ter­est rate as agreed in the con­tract forms signed by the FMS and SWESI.

Dur­ing its AGM on May 11, 2016, mem­bers of the SCC re­solved to cap­i­talise the or­gan­i­sa­tion so it was bailed out from the E2 mil­lion deficit it faced. A re­source mo­bil­i­sa­tion team was set up un­der the SCC whose man­date was to mo­ti­vate the 200 mem­ber churches con­trib­ute to­wards the res­cue mis­sion of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

On top of the 200 mem­ber churches tar­geted to cap­i­talise SCC, a sim­i­lar num­ber of in­di­vid­u­als (200) from each of the mem­ber de­nom­i­na­tions of SCC were tar­geted as found­ing mem­ber sub­scribers (FMS) with the same pur­pose of cap­i­tal­is­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion to re­alise a turn-around in its for­tunes.

This re­sulted to the birth of the SWESI, an in­vest­ment com­pany where SCC has a 100 per cent share­hold­ing.

“April is in­deed a month full of ac­tiv­ity in terms of rolling out the great vi­sion of SWESI. We are fully de­pen­dent on God Almighty to have the Chris­tian bank es­tab­lished in the not so dis­tant fu­ture. The train is start­ing to move and we are grate­ful to God Almighty for this,” Shongwe said.

The ar­chi­tect’s im­pres­sion of the Chris­tian bank was also pre­sented to the FMS and the bank will be con­structed pre­sum­ably on land be­long­ing to the SCC. Along­side the es­tab­lish­ment of the first ever Chris­tian bank in the king­dom, the SWESI is rolling out a syn­di­cated lend­ing scheme and FMS were en­cour­aged to sup­port these ini­tia­tives.

(Cour­tesy pic)

TAK­ING SHAPE: An artist's im­pres­sion of the over E160 mil­lion Chris­tian bank pi­o­neered by Sich­waga Wealth So­lu­tions In­vest­ments (SWESI) in Manzini, a com­pany owned by the Swazi­land Con­fer­ence of Churches.

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