Over 150 youths in Luapula Province have threatened to take legal action against the Cooperbelt Youth Forum for allegedly swindling them out of millions of Kwacha.
Some affected youths told ZANIS in Mansa that the Cooperbelt Youth Forum had allegedly obtained the money as security to accessing the forum’s micro loan facility.
The youths said the Forum needed the administrative and security fees which ranged between K1million to K4 million per applicant to qualify for the loans.
“We want them to repay our money in the same manner they obtained it. They have unconvinced us a lot because we wanted these loans so that we invest in profitable projects to earn us a living because we are unemployed,” the youths said.
And Luapula Province Youth Forum Chairman Henry Mulenga said the Cooperbelt Youth Forum obtained over K400 Million from various individual youths and youth groups in six districts in Luapula province.
He said the Forum owed youths in Samfya K95, 5 million, Nchelenge K 86, 6 Million, Mwense K75 Million, Mansa K60 Million while those in Kawambwa and Chienge were owed over K41 Million respectively.
He said the Forum in the province was overwhelmed with complaints from various youths affected by the situation because they had not accessed the anticipated loans despite paying the required fees.
Mr. Mulenga said the youths that had earlier thronged his office have since threatened to take legal action against the forum if it did not repay them their money.
He said the Cooperbelt Youth Forum initiated a Micro-Finance Credit Facility to administer loans to youths on the Copperbelt but scaled out the facility to other provinces such as Luapula.
Mr Mulenga said the Forum has recently plunged into financial problems a situation which has incapacitated their provision of loans to individual youth groups who applied for the facility.
Meanwhile, Government has disassociated itself from the operations of Copperbelt Youth Forum.
In a press statement recently minister of sport, youth and child development Kenneth Chipungu said the Copperbelt Youth Forum was a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) which had its own objectives and constitution.
He advised the affected youths to request the institution to refund them the money they paid as requirement to accessing the loans or take legal actions against the forum if it failed to repay them.
Efforts to contact the Copperbelt Youth Forum failed.