Steward Bank has started lending money to Zimbabweans living and working in the diaspora for property purchases in a bid to generate foreign currency while at the same time developing the country’s infrastructure.

Steward Bank CEO, Dr Lance Mambondiani reiterated that an individual must have a work permit, resident permit or visa in the country he or she is resident and should have either a valid Zimbabwean passport or a Zimbabwean ID.

If the loan application is approved Steward Bank will administer the funds paying suppliers and all as well as the actual builders at every stage of the construction.

Who can apply?

Any diasporan aged 21 and above and has held a Steward Bank Diaspora Account that has been active for at least 3 months. The individual must of course have a work permit, resident permit or visa in the country they are resident. They must also have either a valid Zimbabwean passport or a Zimbabwean ID and have a proxy here in Zimbabwe who has a valid ID.

What do we think about the facility?

Buying property is obviously considered a very important investment anywhere in the world. Most diasporans have that as their top priority when they first go outside the country. However houses do not come cheap.

For the average Zimbabwean out there getting to own a property in their country of residence is nothing but a pipe dream. Properties are super expensive in places like the UK and getting financing to do so is next to impossible for a foreigner.

Besides that, most diasporans want to come back to Zimbabwe someday and this is where they would rather build and plant roots. Some of them left unfinished houses and they just can’t lump funds together to complete these projects. It’s not easy when you are trying to put kids to school at the same time.

These are the reasons we think the loan facility is a good product. It allows Zimbabweans around the world the opportunity to fulfill their dreams: Zimbabweans are crazy about having their own place

What are the terms to expect?

The loan is repaid at an interest rate of 9% per year. So far this is the lowest we have come across in Zimbabwe. The tenure is up to a maximum of 20 years and is based on how close you are to retirement age.

You can apply for any amount between $10 000 and $200 000. Repayment installments must not exceed 45% of the gross monthly income of the borrower. The establishment fee is 2% of loan and a non-refundable application fee of $100 is required on submitting the application.

If your application is successful then you must pay the commitment/deposit of 10%. This is your share of the cost of buying or building your home. Repayments are to be made monthly and in hard currency.

What can the loan cover?

The loan is for buying a serviced stand, construction of a new house, renovating/upgrading an already existing property or purchasing a new house. In all cases the property must have title deeds.

Here’s how to get in touch with Steward Bank’s Diaspora Banking Unit

You can call/whatsapp +263771222305, email or check out the Steward Bank website

Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) subsidiary Homelink plans to build over 3 000 housing units and commercial buildings near Lake Chivero in a bid to provide decent and affordable houses for Zimbabweans especially the Diaspora community.

Homelink has been a significant player in housing provision since 2004 when it established the Homelink Housing Development Scheme (HHDS).

To date, Homelink has provided houses for at least 1 500 families.