Govt loses $80 000 as youth loan beneficiaries skip to SA

Youth fund beneficiaries at work

Youth fund beneficiaries at work

Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE majority of youths in Tsholotsho who received loans from the Government to start income generating projects skipped the country and headed to South Africa resulting in only $7 000 being repaid from the $87 000 that was disbursed.

Matabeleland North provincial head in the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Mr Buthumuzi Ngwenya revealed this last Friday while making a presentation at a provincial advocacy meeting for HIV programming for displaced communities in Bulawayo.

The meeting, which was organised by the National Aids Council, was attended by heads of department from various ministries in an effort to counter other disasters that might affect the more than 800 flood victims accommodated at Sipepa Camp in Tsholotsho.

Mr Ngwenya said the problem of floods in Tsholotsho is part of a myriad of challenges that needed urgent attention in the district.

He said most of the youths who benefited from Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund left for South Africa with the money.

“Floods are the least thing that the people in Tsholotsho needed because the district already has more problems than other districts. Out of the seven districts in the province, Tsholotsho was the worst in terms of repayment of the Youth Fund. The district received $87 000. Out of that money $80 000 disappeared. The youths were receiving $1 200 as individuals and most of them didn’t repay.

“They left for South Africa and used the money for their upkeep in the neighbouring country as they looked for jobs. It’s difficult to trace them,” said Mr Ngwenya.

He said 90 percent of the youths in Binga managed to pay back the money while other districts including Nkayi, Umguza, Hwange and Lupane also tried to pay back the loans.

Mr Ngwenya said it was difficult to use traditional leaders to trace the youths as some of the leaders also benefited from government funds but never paid back.

“Some of the chiefs are defaulters so it’s difficult to get assistance from them. We therefore need multi-sectoral programming that will help our youths focus on skills development and be able to be innovative and work without being pushed.

“Now that the floods have come and gone, we must not rest. We have to come up with measures that will make the people in Tsholotsho less vulnerable.

They should be able to survive in whatever circumstances,” he said.

Mr Ngwenya said some youths in the area go to South Africa before they finish school, where they do menial jobs.

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko is on record as urging young people to shun the habit of travelling to South Africa illegally, saying there was nothing for them but death in the neighbouring country.

VP Mphoko, who is also Zimbabwe’s former Ambassador to South Africa, said he was speaking from experience as he had come across cases of young boys and girls who left school and ended up being exploited to become sex slaves and homosexuals.

— pamelashumba1


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  • Bantu Africa

    $80000 gone to SA then someone says the province is not supported at all!Cry baby and victim mentality at its best!

    • The Silent Observer

      Divide $80000 by $1200 and how many Youths Benefited?? 66. I am sure those youths even if they are doing menial jobs in South Africa are supporting their families back in Tsholotsho one way or the other. The issue of Loan Defaulters is prevalent throughout the country and is not peculiar to Tsholotsho Alone. The whole Loan Scheme was poorly structured and it was bound to fail.Better Strategies are Needed For The Youths!

    • bulawayo born

      What about 15 billion dollars of diamonds, your uncle bob stole, when is he repaying it back?

    • Sigamba

      Silly boy ! How much does it cost us when RG flies in from the SADC indaba in Swaziland and then straightaway boards a waiting plane for some obscure summit in Mauritius, hey?

      • justsaying

        its better coz he comes back alive,but these youth,trust me they will come back in coffins

        • Sigamba

          Alive? Some say that he belongs to the walking dead!

  • Accumulator

    Bond notes, to youth because they are rubbish

  • Maluma Makhovula

    I do not pity them on that , they assessment was very biased and they are reaping the results of being dishonest, they left out the deserving people and dished out to their choices , its time they learn it the harder way

    • Sigamba

      Another angle that will result from this is that truly deserving youths in the region cannot expect to benefit from this facility which, in any case is conducted in a blatantly partisan manner.

  • Mbla

    What basis was used to used to evaluate the credit worthiness of these youth. Was it done on merit or political grounds. I think politicisation of economic project is hindering progress in our great nations

    • Sigamba

      Why bother at all? Shouldn’t we be looking at ways of getting back the missing diamonds and that 15bn which slipped through the fingers of the revenue authority?

  • Hlokoloza

    Is it only Tsholotsho youths that received the cash? Can we get the full picture country wide about which area got how much and the percentage of cash actually paid back etc

  • Moyod

    You dont know what Mphoko is talking about. He is saying the courts should dismiss Moyo`s fraud case because he gave loans to the youth in his constituency. So if the youth jumped the border so leave Moyo alone