Mining town appeals for banking services

11Feb 2020
The Guardian
Mining town appeals for banking services

​​​​​​​MINERAL traders in Makongolosi town in Chunya District, Mbeya Region are forced to travel more than 35 kms for banking services as the town lacks these facilities.

Chunya District Commissioner Maryprisca Mahund

They claim they get the service at Mkwajuni, headquarters of Songwe District or Chunya town, the situation that poses hazards to them when carrying huge amounts of cash to and from the banks.

Speaking during the visit by the Chunya District Commissioner to inspect the area’s gold markets established at the mining sites, the traders appealed to the government to bring banking services closer to them.

One gold trader, Juma Solomon, said Makongolosi town has many people engaged in mining activities – miners, sellers and buyers.

He said apart from the minerals business, there are also tobacco farmers who also need banking services and Makongolosi is nearer to tobacco farming zone.

“A miner who has just received a lot of cash has no peace especially when carrying the cash to the bank as every time you think of the possibility of being attacked,” he said.

The Chairman of Chunya District Council Bosco Mwanginde said the town has a huge circulation of cash due to minerals trade, and added that long distances to areas with banks pose great danger to the traders.

He said some of the traders use mobile services to store their money, but mobile money agents in the area fail to offer adequate services because often traders need huge amounts of cash for minerals purchases.

“One person can hold up to 100m/ in cash and it becomes too risky for him to travel to Chunya or Mkwajuni for banking services,” Mwanginde said.

Speaking on the issue, Chunya District Commissioner Maryprisca Mahundi said there is one bank agent in Makongolosi town whose agency serves two banks but he also cannot cope with the huge number of people needing banking services.

She called upon banks in the country to grab the opportunity to open branches in the area to assist the wananchi, while also expanding their own banking business.

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