'Empowerment a hoax'

BULAWAYO - Combative Bulawayo youths heckled Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere on accusations of making empty promises that his ministry would finance their projects.

There was pandemonium particularly from the Zanu PF youths who demanded precise answers from the minister they call “Big Brother”, forcing him to enlist support from a local youth leader to calm frayed tempers.

Disconcerted youths expressed disappointment over the allocation of the youth fund by local financial institutions tasked with handling the fund.

Speaking during a youth dialogue organised by Kasukuwere’s ministry, a representative of Youths in Tourism Bulawayo chapter said youth empowerment was an illusion.

“Most youths have not realised the benefits of empowerment. To them it is just a mirage and a flickering illusion which does not exist,” the irate youth representative said.

Innocent Dube of the Zimbabwe Christian Youth Forum expressed concern at the growing number of business proposals being turned down by banks.

Kasukuwere tried to redeem himself by shifting blame on the banks.

Accusing the banks of not forthcoming for “reasons best known to themselves”, Kasukuwere admitted the failure of youth empowerment programme.

“When I talk about the reformation of the banking sector, they say that I am crazy. Institutions must change because our young people must enjoy benefits from their own country like anyone else in the world,” Kasukuwere said.

“They do not want us to prosper. But time will tell. They will comply. We are going to ensure that this behaviour stops,” a disoriented Kasukuwere said.

“I know that it has not been easy, the young people are disappointed.”

In 2010 Kasukuwere promised youths in Matabeleland $3 million for projects which is yet to see the light of day. - Nyasha Chingono

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