via Ministry threatens defaulting youths with court action – The Zimbabwean 17 July 2015 by Regerai Tukutuku
Thousands of Zanu (PF) youths who borrowed money from the government’s youth fund during the run up to the 2013 elections risk being dragged to court after the ministry of youth, indigenisation and economic empowerment gave them an ultimatum to settle the debts in full.
According to government sources the youths borrowed money ranging from $800 – $1000, but most of them have not repaid back a single cent.
In a letter dispatched to all provinces by the ministry, now headed by former Manicaland governor Christopher Mushowe, the youths were ordered to pay back their outstanding areas before the end of this month or risk court action.
The loans recovery manager in the ministry, Collins Chikukwa , has since written letters to all the provinces demanding that all outstanding loans be paid on or before July 20 this year.
In a letter dated May 28 and copied to all the country’s provinces Chikukwa said ” We demand the balance in full on or before July 20 2015 or risk legal action. No payment plans would be entertained after this date and those who will have defaulted will be issued with summons”.
In what was viewed as a campaign gimmick, hordes of Zanu (PF) youths were given loans from the youth fund administered by the ministry during the run-up to the 2013 polls. The fund is meant to assist youths in order for them to embark on development projects, irrespective of their political affiliation. However it has been turned into a Zanu (PF) project, with youths aligned to President Mugabe and his ruling) party being the sole beneficiaries.
Although Mushowe could not be reached for comment, government sources said the treasury – which is almost empty – was trying to strengthening ways of recovering all monies owed to the state by companies and individuals.
“Government has no money and is leaving no stone unturned in making sure that it recover every cent from its debtors, “said a government source. However some of the youths said they would not pay back the loans because they do not have the money.
“Where does the government think we are going to get the money to pay back the loans?” asked one of the youths, who preferred to be anonymous. “We are just waiting for the court action and we will defend ourselves in court because some of us were given the funds on the understanding that it would not have to be paid back,” he added.