Youth fund: ‘Bad apples’ derail empowerment programme

The youths’ voice is the loudest when it comes to calls for empowerment but the productive results have been dismal as evidenced by the statistics revealed by the auditor general Mildred Chiri’s 2017 report.

The report was based on an   assessment of the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment programme-  Youth Empowerment Fund established as part of the Old Mutual, Stanbic, Industrial Development Bank of Zimbabwe and CBZ Bank’s contribution to the country’s indigenisation and empowerment programme.

It is sad that the loans which were unveiled to help the uplifting of the youths but were misused by the majority of the uninformed youths.

According to reports some young people used the money to fund their lobola payments and  some went to buy top of the range cars with a few managing to acquire immovable property though the loans were meant for production amd small business start ups.

The youth fund was also abused by Ministry officials.

“The refusal by the former ministers of youth Saviour Kasukuwere and Francis Nhema to arrest all the fund defaulters clearly shows that this fund is partisan and creates a culture of patronage making the system ungovernable,” said Netsai Marova a member of the MDC.

However, youthful ZANU PF activist  John Muchenje said the youths had experienced a ‘learning curve’ and had reformed.

He however pointed out that some ‘bad apples’ within the youths had resilted in the youths being collectively painted with a black brush.

“We as youths  have learnt a lesson that money the money was important to us to empower ourselves through investing in the productive sector  but unfortunately the money was abused by some bad apples who I believe have reformed because its cold out there.In respect of the rule of law ,I call upon banks take neccessary steps to recover the unpaid debt ,” said Muchenje.

Muchenje made a clarion call to young people to use those loans in a proper way and not abuse the funds.

“I think i should take this opportunity to plead with the youths not to abuse any loans availed to them ,people should develop a culture of repaying any loan which is availed to them,” added Muchenje.

The culture of defaulting loans is a major thorn in the flesh for Zimbbasweans and government must create a National Credit Bureau that monitors loan disbursement and repayment.