LEADING financial services institution, Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe, has put its shoulder on the wheel in the fight against Covid-19 by pledging an assortment of the much-needed equipment worth US$200 000.
The Standard Bank Group subsidiary is geared to donate a total of 5 ventilators; 32 500 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in the form of suits, masks, face shields and goggles; 2 400 PCR tests, 3 000 sanitizer bottles and 2 boreholes which will be drilled in two selected high-density suburbs of Bulawayo and Harare.
Stanbic Bank Zimbabwe Head of Marketing and Communications, Palmer Mugavha, said the institution has already taken delivery of the items that are purchased locally such as hand sanitizers and some PPEs while those sourced from outside the country will be delivered in tranches over the coming weeks owing to global demand.
Speaking from the safety of his home in compliance with the lockdown directive by the government, Mugavha paid tribute to the frontline health workers and all those in essential services for braving the pandemic, to keep the country safe and afloat.
He said Stanbic Bank is all too aware of the challenges the government is facing in fighting this pandemic in terms of resources and saw it fit to contribute in flattening the Covid-19 infections curve which is one of the most important steps in the battle against the virus.
We are recording this in the safety of our homes as we are observing the social distancing strategy to help flatten the curve. Our eternal gratitude goes to our healthcare workers who are on the frontline, fighting to save the lives of fellow citizens.
“As Stanbic Bank we will support these courageous men and women through the items mentioned. Harare and Bulawayo will each have a borehole. Let us continue to abide by the guidelines set to reduce the spread of this virus, to protect you, me our nation, our future.” said Mugavha.
He was joined by Stanbic Bank’s Executive Director for Corporate and Investment Banking, Betty Murambadoro and Head of Personal and Business Banking, Patson Mahatchi, who also spoke from the safety of their homes, in a joint tribute to essential service workers and the nation at large.
Noting that the year started on this unexpected and unpleasant note, Murambadoro, however, saluted Zimbabweans from all walks of life for answering the clarion call to join in the efforts to ensure that Covid-19 is defeated.
She said Stanbic Bank’s support was not only in the form of the donation to help fight the pandemic directly but indirectly through financial support to corporates which produce and manufacture products essential in combating the virus.
“We supported one of our ethanol producing clients with foreign currency allocation to enable them to continue producing ethanol which is the key ingredient in the production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer for protection from Covid-19. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Stanbic staff who are keeping our financial services up and running. The team working from home and especially those on the frontline at our offices and branches. We really appreciate your commitment,” said Murambadoro.
Mahatchi said, “Stanbic Bank has so far provided funding to the tune of US$2.8 million through credit and allocation of foreign currency to our clients in the medical industry to acquire the needed health care items to help fight this pandemic.”
He applauded Zimbabweans for adhering to the lockdown directive saying this demonstrated their willingness to put aside the prevailing economic and social challenges and play their part to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“As Stanbic Bank we also extend our gratitude to other corporates, NGO community, individuals and all entities that have contributed immensely in cash or kind to the provision of essential goods and facilities that are required for us to win this battle. We are truly in this together. Our future lies with the hope that tomorrow can be better,” said Mahatchi.
Covid-19 has left a trail of social and economic misfortunes with over 3 million cases confirmed worldwide while 200 000 have succumbed to the respiratory ailment.
The government of Zimbabwe is targeting to do at least 1 000 tests a day but so far only 6 384 people have been tested owing to lack of testing equipment while the health workers need PPEs to do the tests and look after the infected.
Of the 6 834 people tested so far, 32 were infected with 4 succumbing to the disease.