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Zanu PF Officials Allegedly Abuse Youth Empowerment Fund

  • VOA Staff

Lawmakers expressed concern that the fund was abused by people, who were above the targeted age groups ranging from 21 to 35. (Photo: Irwin Chifera)

Lawmakers expressed concern that the fund was abused by people, who were above the targeted age groups ranging from 21 to 35. (Photo: Irwin Chifera)

Zanu PF officials, among them MP Makhosini Hlongwane and Affirmative Action Group vice president Chamu Chiwanza, are alleged to have benefited from the $20 million Stanbic Youth Empowerment Fund meant for disadvantaged youths.

Bank statements released to the Parliamentary Youth and Indigenization Portfolio Committee by the bank's head of Business Banking, Patson Mahachi, indicate that though the youths were supposed to receive loans of between $5,000 to $20,000, some top Zanu PF officials accessed loans of up to $500,000 each.

The committee was also told that 90 percent of the beneficiaries were from Harare while some provinces like Masvingo had only three beneficiaries and nobody in Matabeleland South got any loan.

Lawmakers expressed concern that the fund was abused by people, who were above the targeted age groups ranging from 21 to 35.

The committee was told that some of those people who accessed the fund are failing to repay loans.

Both Hlongwane and Chiwanza were not available for comment as their mobile phones were not being answered.

The Youth Fund was launched in 2011 amid pomp and fanfare with high expectations that it will benefit disempowered youths.

For perspective, reporter Tatenda Gumbo spoke with Zanu PF activist and political analyst, Morris Ngwenya and Sydney Chisi of the Youth Initiative for Democracy.
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