via Zanu PF youth fund defaulters boo Zhuwao – NewsDay Zimbabwe December 5, 2015
HARARE — Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao has ordered CABS and Old Mutual to institute legal action against youths who benefited from the $10 million government Youth Fund and failed to repay the loans.
Zhuwao gave the order while addressing his First Economic Empowerment Conference in Harare on Thursday.
The minister, who was booed by youths at City Sports Centre, could not finish reading his 41-page speech as rowdy youths kept interfering and hectoring him.
“For the remaining few 2015 days, go to the bank where you borrowed and make payment plans. I am not going to protect anyone who borrowed and is not paying back,” he said.
“I am saying to Lillian (a representative of CABS present at the event), go and tell your bosses that Zhuwao is saying that I am not going to protect any defaulter because they are blocking others from accessing loans.
“Those who are failing to pay back the loans, take them to the courts from January 1, 2016. That is my message to you.”
The $10 million Kurera-Ukondla Youth Fund was first established in 2011 as part of Old Mutual’s indigenisation agreement with the government in an effort to improve levels of unemployment and act as a stimulus to economic growth in the country.
Last week, Zhuwao said government was going to attach properties of the youth fund defaulters.
Disbursing institutions say about 97% of the youths who benefited from fund did not pay back.
Out of the $11 million facility, $4,9 million was disbursed to the youths through Old Mutual, but only $1,7 million was repaid.
The other $5,1 million has not been accounted for, with the minister unable to shed any light on what happened to the money.
Zhuwao said the whereabouts of the $5,1 million remained unclear, amid suspicion the money could have gone into wrong pockets.
Some of the Zanu PF youths who have failed to repay the money they got from the $10 million Youth Fund, which government secured from Old Mutual, have skipped the country, the fund administrators have said.
There were also reports of corruption in the distribution of the loan facility with some senior Zanu PF members being implicated.
The official from Old Mutual identified only as Lillian who was part of the guest speakers at the First Economic Empowerment Conference, said they were struggling to locate some of the defaulters.
“Some of the challenges we are facing in trying to recover the loans are that some of the beneficiaries have relocated and we are failing to track them. We hear that some have even gone out of the country,” she said.
She confirmed that most of the beneficiaries abused the funds.
“Some diverted the loans to other projects and they are failing to service their loans, “she said. — online