BILL GATES LOSES HALF A MILLION IN ZIMBABWE | American billionaire and one of the richest business tycoons in the world, Bill Gates lost close to half a million dollars in Zimbabwe following the closure of AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe, formerly Kingdom Bank in 2015, it has emerged.
Gates and his wife Melinda, under their charity organisation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation poured over $5 million into the bank for the building of low cost houses to benefit more than 480 families in Harare in 2010.
Of the $5 million put in for the project, initially set for Mbare before political disturbances forced it to Dzivarasekwa, close to $4 million was used to build a top market community in the old suburb but more than $480 000 was never recovered.
Harare City Council’s deputy housing director Bridget Mandizha told zifm news that efforts to recover the money have been fruitless.
“We got $5 million and we used $3.8 million. We lost more than $480 000 when Kingdom Bank was shut down and we never recovered that. We did the best we could but we did not succeed,” she said.
“They had promised to give us $20 000 a month but the bank closed before they could do that,” she said.
The Deposit Protection Corporation (DPC) was recently quoted as saying they had paid $2.95 million to the collapsed AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe’s creditors.The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe cancelled the bank’s operating licence in February 2015 after its major shareholder, AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Limited voluntarily surrendered the banking licence and was liquidated in the following month.
Some of the bank’s properties have been auctioned to recover creditors’ money.
However, Mandizha said council was satisfied with the project saying the houses were state of the art.
Beneficiaries, who were living under filthy conditions before the project, were mostly affected by a clean-up exercise dubbed “Operation Murambatsvina” in 2005.
They were used to drinking water from shallow wells while using the bush system risking themselves to waterborne diseases before the intervention of the Bill and Melinda Foundation.
“480 families have benefited from the 280 units we have built there. Apart from building super structures, there is state of the art infrastructure not found in co-operatives,” she said.
“We have tarred roads and everything. Everyone is happy and there is a community centre with internet that we built there. People come and access internet among other things,” Mandizha said.
“There is a solar-powered borehole and we built an ECD class which is up to scratch for the community,” she said.
“It was a slum that we upgraded and we have photos of children drinking water from shallow wells and now as they enjoy borehole water that is clean,” she added.