via Kasukuwere defends loan defaulters – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 5, 2015
Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday defended defaulters of the controversial Youth Empowerment Fund, saying they must not be stigmatised as most people do borrow as well.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
Kasukuwere was speaking at the launch of another $10 million government-spearheaded fund for the youths, dubbed Localised Empowerment Acceleration Facility, which is being facilitated by the Finance ministry and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
Kasukuwere, who was Youth and Indigenisation minister when the initial fund was still running during the time of the inclusive government, said it was wrong to view those who benefited and failed to pay back as criminals.
“Well done, Cde (Patrick) Zhuwao, for showing enormous courage,” he said. Zhuwao is the current Youth minister.
“The young people in this country ever since we launched the $10 million fund have had to stand a barrage of criticism, attacks and being made to look like criminals. The youths must be helped to stand up on their feet and not to be told that you can’t do it.”
Kasukuwere said it was not only the youths who had debts in this country. “If they borrow, they will pay back. It’s not a crime to borrow and even elderly people borrow as well. I am not saying they should not pay, but I am saying let us not stigmatise our young people,” he said.
But Kasukuwere said only paid-up beneficiaries from the last scheme would be eligible to borrow under the new programme. The Local Government minister blasted some of his predecessors for failing to be innovative and unlock opportunities for youths.
Kasukuwere’s predecessors Francis Nhema and recently Christopher Mushohwe have been consistent in pushing for the repayment of the controversial loans which largely benefitted Zanu PF youths.
“Let this money make a difference in your life, let this money uplift you and empower you. Pay back and get more. So, youths, your responsibility is clear: Stop making noise, but start building the economy. India was built by Indians, America was built by Americans, China was built by the Chinese and Zimbabwe shall be built by Zimbabweans,” Kasukuwere said.