'Zanu PF youths looted fund'

HARARE - The $10 million Youth Fund aimed at enabling youths to start income-generating projects did not reach its intended beneficiaries as it was accessed mainly by Zanu PF youths.

The fund, availed in 2011 through the Kurera/ Ukondla Youth Development Fund and accessed through CABS and CBZ banks, was tailored to empower the country’s youths, particularly in the wake of the indigenisation and empowerment policy.

But it emerged yesterday that most of the beneficiaries of the fund were mainly youths linked to influential political figures, particularly in the ruling Zanu PF party.

This came out in Parliament yesterday when officials from both banks appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio committee on Indigenisation to clear doubts on how the Fund was handled.

Justice Mayor Wadyajena, the chairman of the committee raised the red flag after he noticed that a number of names on the list of beneficiaries provided by the banks were “suspiciously” famous.

Wadyajena said his committee would invite the ministry of Youth now led by Francis Nhema to explain the “anomaly”.

“I notice from the list of beneficiaries that you have availed to the committee that most of the names that appear are of famous youths who are politically connected which means we have to take this matter up with the responsible ministry,” Wadyajena said.

The Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator has been engaged in a turf war with Kasukuwere, who now heads the Environment portfolio, over the confusion surrounding Community Share Ownership Trusts’ funding by mining companies particularly those in Manicaland.

The committee also expressed concern at the way the fund was distributed to youths across the country which seemed to favour those from Mashonaland Provinces while sidelining those from Matabeleland.

Harare, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central and other provinces in Mashonaland had the highest number of beneficiaries while Matabeleland provinces, particularly Matabeleland South,
North and Bulawayo’s figures were negligible.

But the banks said they had no control over the distribution of the Youth Fund.

Comments (1)

This is corruption with no shame, diverting tax payers money to fund party programs? It was set up to be looted & for patronage...to suggest that it was a youth fund for all was just a smoke screen. If it was really a non-partisan issue the banks would have been given controls over the funds and powers to assess the applications the same way they do when investing depositors funds. Now everyone is left to pick up the bill. We already know that those who are connected do not pay their bills or taxes.

Lt General - 4 July 2014

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