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Zimbabwe Youth Fund Disburses 644 Loans

The $10 million youth fund was availed for youth economic empowerment under Zimbabwe's controversial indigenization program. (File Photo)
The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) has released new figures indicating that takers for the Youth Development Fund continue to lag behind though Mashonaland East leads with most funded projects under the scheme as it has189 projects.

Matabeleland North has the least funded projects with just one percent translating into 18 projects only while Mashonaland Central has 100, Bulawayo about 45 and Harare 75.

According to The Daily News, the CBZ disbursed 644 loans creating over 2,000 jobs. A total of 1,020 project proposals were received and are yet to be approved.

The fund, which is administered by CBZ bank, was set up in 2009. The loans attract an annual interest rate of 10 percent.

To date the fund has disbursed loans totaling just over $2,6 million for projects averaging $2,000 each.

Wellington Benyere, loan officer at the CBZ is quoted by The Daily News as saying youths in Matabeleland region did not submit viable projects, adding “they wanted to make a quick buck through buying and selling”.

However, Mqondisi Moyo, spokesman for the Mthwakazi Joint Resolution Council, an umbrella body for several Matabeleland youth organizations, said this was not true.

He said his organization has followed up with the CBZ and discovered that to the contrary, projects from the region were not being funded despite being viable.

Director of the Zimbabwe Youth Council, Livingstone Dzikira, told the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation that under the $10 million Youth Fund set up by the government in partnership with Old Mutual Company, they have approved 3,983 projects in 71 districts worth $5,5 million.

Dzikira said youths from Matabeleland South province should submit sound project proposals as they are not utilizing $1,000,000 allocated to them like other regions.

The two youth schemes are run under Zimbabwe's controversial indigenization program.