via Kasukuwere gave brother govt loan 20/03/2014 NewZimbabwe
TONGAI Kasukuwere, brother to former Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, has been named among Zanu PF ‘youths’ who benefited from government youth funds but are defaulting on repayment.
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment heard Thursday that more than 70 percent of loans disbursed under the scheme over the past four years have not been repaid.
Launched by the Indigenisation ministry under Kasukuwere’s charge, the scheme was aimed at helping reduce youth unemployment in the country as well as stimulating economic growth but opposition parties claimed the programme only targeted Zanu PF members.
Tongai, who is Zanu PF secretary for external affairs, received $5,000 through his company Stormgrip Investment from the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ), one of the banks which administered the scheme.
Other youths from the four Mashonaland provinces received loans ranging from $1000 to $5000 from the Fund but most of them have not been servicing the debts.
IDBZ boss, Charles Chikaura, told the committee that selection of beneficiaries was solely the responsibility of Kasukuwere’s ministry with his bank merely allocating the cash to those approved by the ministry.
“The identification and selection of beneficiaries is done by district youth officers who then just send the names to us for processing and vetting,” Chikaura said.
IDBZ manages two youth funds, the General Fund and the Meikles Fund. Most Zanu PF youths benefited under the latter with a higher maximum allocation of $5000 in comparison to the General Fund pegged at $1000.
The other Fund is managed by Central Africa Building Society (Cabs) and, according to Kevin Terry, Cabs boss, over $3 million is still owing as 72 percent of the youths are defaulting.
Tongai together with Cecilia Chivhunga, Zanu PF deputy youth league secretary for Information, received the loan for horticulture purposes but are failing to service the debt due to “poor planning and project management as well as unwillingness to pay”.
“There are a lot of factors that contributed to this poor repayment rate which include, frost which affected horticulture projects,” Chikaura told the parliamentary committee chaired by Zanu PF MP Justice Wadyajena.
Documents presented before the committee show that only one youth from Matabeleland South province received $1000 under the scheme while no one from the Midlands benefitted.
Under the country’s indigenisation laws, foreign firms are supposed to contribute towards the youth fund to help empower marginalised youths and Meikles and Old Mutual are some of the firms that have donated to schemes.
The revelations come as opposition political parties have complained that the youth fund was administered and allocated along political lines with only Zanu PF members benefiting.