PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has been impressed by NMB Bank’s pace of increasing social assistance in celebrating Kizimkazi cultural celebrations in Zanzibar.
Speaking during the culmination of the Kizimkazi festival which was formerly known as Kizimkazi Day, President Samia said the bank has been a good partner since the inception of the festival in 2016, adding that it has been active and shoulder to shoulder working with the government to address challenges in the community in its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“I thank NMB for the great contribution they make to these celebrations, every year we have various projects in the health and education sector being implemented as our partner in development,” she pointed out.
Elaborating, President Samia said that when the festival started she did not know it would be that big, because historically it was for residents of Makunduchi Constituency to celebrate a farewell after their party-Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) candidate was approved as a running mate of the president in the general elections of 2015.
“Maybe I should tell you four goals of this festival; the first is to bring the Kizimkazi children together, to get to know each other and love each other.
The second is to protect and maintain our traditions and customs, the third is to encourage development activities through the implementation of various projects and the fourth is to promote the economic opportunities available in the area including historical, beaches and cultural tourism.
“When Kizimkazi festival was launched in 2016 it was called Samia Day and in 2018 it changed to Kizimkazi Day… this year 2021 is called Kizimkazi Festival, you will see every year we change maybe it will be a festival for all the South residents,” said President Samia.
On his part, NMB Chief Retail Banking Filbert Mponzi, speaking on behalf of their Chief Executive Officer, Ruth Zaipuna said the bank has done great things in Zanzibar especially by following the blue economy theme and focusing on supporting seaweed farmers, other fishermen.
“We have trained more than 3,400 algae farmers on financial matters; we have also touched salt miners and fishermen. We have done this based on the opportunities available in Zanzibar.
“So far for Zanzibar in the education and health sector, we have spent more than 257m/- since August last year (2020), a total of 54m/- has been spent as community support this month.
But also in commemoration of this year’s Kizimkazi festival this year, we have donated hospital equipment including delivery beds and galvanized iron sheets to cover some schools, which together are worth more than 35m/-,” he pointed out.
In addition, Mponzi noted that they were informed that there is Ndijani Primary School where President Samia once studied, but has a building that has been destroyed after a tree fell on it, adding that they will repair it with all costs financed by them.
He further said NMB is a ‘patriotic financial institution’ with 31.8 percent share owned by the government, and leading in the country with several branches and loaning facility to traders.