President Lungu interacts with a charcoal marketers at Chisali main market
President Lungu interacts with a charcoal marketers at Chinsali main market
GOVERNMENT stands to lose more than K1.3 million from some Copperbelt marketeers who accessed the Presidential Empowerment Initiative fund and are now refusing to repay the loans.

Of the total figure, Ndola marketeers are owing K800,000 with Chisokone traders in Kitwe yet to pay K533,000 while K30,000 is stuck in Luanshya.
Some marketers are even turning violent against officials from the initiative whenever they pursue the traders to remind them of their obligations to repay what they owed.

A Ndola-based official was chased by the marketeers and warned that she risked being beaten if she ever showed up asking for the money.

“You see these people are supposed to repay the K2,000 in installments for 30 days without incurring interest. We’ve been lenient with these people and we go to them in a respectable manner,” an official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

She said the initiative started facing problems with the recovery process in February in Kitwe before the trend spread to Ndola and Luanshya.

Judging by the unruly behavior of the marketeers, the official concluded that the traders could be influenced by opposition political party cadres.

Presidential Empowerment Initiative chief executive officer, Joseph Chilinda regretted the turn of events, saying such conduct would deprive other traders with the much-needed capital to better their livelihoods.

He said it was regrettable that people think the money being given out by the initiative was free because “you can’t eat the seeds which are supposed to be grown every season.”

Mr Chilinda said the empowerment programme had no political boundaries but all eligible citizens especially vulnerable traders in dire need for capital injection.

“Most of the people we are targeting are financially excluded and can’t participate in the financial sector. These people are not viable for any financial institution to work with because of the structure of the financial industry in Zambia,” he said in an interview in Ndola.

He appealed to all well-meaning Zambians to support the initiative and ensure the integrity of the revolving fund was sustained by paying back.
Mr Chilinda said the sense of responsibility in the beneficiaries needed to be inculcated.

The initiative chief executive said there had never been such kind of empowerment to the informal sector since Zambia’s independence in 1964 until President Lungu introduced it last year.

He also sensitised the marketeers to be on the look out for conmen masquerading as officers or agents of the initiative who were charging money as inducement to access loans.

Mr Chilinda said such characters needed to be reported to the police because the officers from the initiative do not ask for money upfront.
He cited an example of Petauke in Eastern Province where marketeers were swindled of the money by some crooks posing as representatives of the initiative.

However, the Petauke culprits were brought to book and prosecuted.

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37 COMMENTS

  1. First ask chanda kabwe where they stole this money from before u stsrt asking zambians to pay back its there money

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    • I thought these guys told us this was not govt money but money from well wishers. How has it suddenly become govt money when it was not in the budget. This is plunder. Someone will soon be jailed.

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    • LT, please get your headings right.

      This is not “government money” , this is ZAMBIAN TAXPAYERS MONEY!

      How irresponsible can this Lungu and his PF be with public money?

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    • Come on guys??? 1.2 million ONLY?????? That is PEANUTS TO CHAGWA!!!!! Just ask him to reimburse his INITIATIVE for HE HAS SUCH A KNACK OF SPINNING A FEW DOLLARS INTO MILLIONS in a space of 16 or so months!!!!!

      Marketeers – HATS OFF TO YOU ALL – DO A MAJOR DONCHI KUBEBA to these ba Pumbafu PamaFI!!!!!!!!

      Vote WISELY 11/8/2016!! Vote ZAMBIA FORWARD!! Vote UPND!! Abantu baya!!!

      #Chagwamustfall!! #PamaFikuyabebele!!!!

      I thank you!!

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    • The behavior being exhibited by these marketeers is simply deplorable and unacceptable. It’s criminal and shouldn’t be tolerated, especially if this is government money, which is taxpayer’s money to be exact. Learn that in life, there is nothing for free. When you borrow you have to pay back. Otherwise, you’re depriving other people who may have benefited from the project. Zambia needs to create a “credit history” system like they do in the USA. If you don’t pay, it goes on your credit history, to alert other lenders that you cannot be trusted, until you clear the debt. Once you get slapped with “bad credit” on your history, you can never borrow money from anywhere, including accessing certain services such as renting an apartment, or buying anything on credit. In some cases, you…

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    • (Continued)…cannot even open a bank account, let alone get a loan from a bank. So make sure you make them pay back. If you let them get away with it, you will have set a precedent, and many more will do the same in the future, thinking they can also get away with it.

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    • Marketeers sound know that this money came from Chakolwa’s own pocket, from his K23m he pocketed last year from Eurobonds. This is small change for Chakolwa Chagwa. It is a body from him. You do not have to repay the money. This woman who is pursuing you just wants to pocket the money herself.

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  2. A good initiative by President Lungu now being abused by beneficiaries. Loans should be paid back period

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    • Which good initiative? Stealing and corrupting people’s minds with bribes for votes? I am glad they are refusing to pay.

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    • Really laughable..that you call this a good initiative: I take it you have never taken out credit in your life. This is corruption as anyone could simply be given loans…this selfsame Presidential Empowerment Initiative fund is not even audited by the AG’s office. That’s how reckless this Lazy grinning Edgar is.

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    • History has a nasty way of repeating itself. KK gave money and inputs to cooperatives after independence because cooperatives have worked so well in other countries but what happened. Cooperatives ate the money thinking it was the fruit of independence and now these marketeers think this is the fruit for the coming elections. Why don’t we learn from history?

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  3. President Lungu came out openly that the moneys for this initiative was not from government coffers but from well wishes and friends now today they have exposed themselves that it was from govt.coffers.

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  4. This is exactly why this useless drunk clown MUST GO!

    Lungu is nothing but a conman and cheap crook. He is using borrowed money to try and bribe voters to vote for him, and after the election who will have to pay it back?

    Zambians, don’t be fooled by Lungu and his PF lies. This man will drive us into such poverty we have never known since independence. Already we know the IMF is coming because PF has borrowed and stolen beyond the nations capacity to pay back the Kaloba!

    Lungu must be held accountable for the economic collapse.

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  5. This is truly a govt of corrupt empty tins how did they even qualify people to this selfsame unaccountable corrupt scheme called Presidential Empowerment Initiative fund…these are the same fund set up from borrowed money; borrowing money to lend poor who dont even have a bank account or assets. I am sure this fund has also helped propel this Lazy **** Edgar’s net worth…which he can not account for.
    Sadly again its our children and the hardworking taxpayer who will pay for all these people in the black market who contribute nothing.

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    • @ Jay Jay and Buck Teeth..
      The hatred you display or even harbour for President Lungu is not good for you. ECL is not even affected by your seeming dislike for him. Rather, the hatred will only consume you. Believe me. Save your self. Pray for your perceived enemies.
      God bless you.

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  6. …for every loan there is a written agreement signed for by lender and the one borrowing…the agreement outlines the T & Cs…..that’s a legal binding document….it is si11y of someone crying foul to the public because the client has refused to pay back the loan….take the blarry agreement to court…and the court will sort them out individually….
    ….marketeers are just supposed to demand for 3 years before they start repaying….

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  7. Dont pay back, let Lungu give the K23bn back first, no wonder we have been borrowing left, right and centre.

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  8. Forget the UPND , just a bunch of monkeys from Mapatizya.
    This is a good initiative. The issue with me is that K20,000 payable over 30 days is K70 per day. Now this repayment is too steep for a marketeer. Why didnt they try 90 days?

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    • Which idyot gives a marketer K20,000 in the first place? And then to be repaid over 30 days! Do your maths. Anybody who has been in microfinance will know that this money will never be recovered. It is free money. That’s why the marketeers are not repaying because they know how and why they were given the money in the first place. These are never loans but corrupt gifts. As usual, Chakolwa the eternal flip-flopper cannot wait until the outcome of 11 August elections to reap where he did not sow.

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  9. Bravo marketeers! Teach these dunderheads a lesson. The whole
    idea was ill conceived and aimed at gaining political mileage.
    Foremost, the source of the money is shrouded in secrecy. They
    earlier said Lungu sourced it from well wishers and now want
    you to pay back to government. If that was government money,
    it would have been included in the national budget. I believe that
    money is from Lungu’s corruption so DO NOT PAY BACK. How did
    PF arrive at the loan amount of K 2,000.00? Notwithstanding issues
    to do with the loan amount, PF in its dullness failed to realise that
    you need more than money to grow an existing business. So
    they got it wrong. That is the problem is trying to copy things
    you do not understand. Its good these scoundrels and hyenas are
    losing their ill gotten…

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  10. By the way, do not just end at refusing to pay the money. Extend your
    bravery to the ballot. Do not give them your vote. Do them a don’t kubeba.
    Tell them the economy is in a mess and K 2,000.00 can not take you
    anywhere. That was free money for you.

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  11. Zambia with such pipo like you who have ill comments about a well initiative to help pipo who cant access money from lending institutions are not good and lack a heart for the pipo. This is what pipo were crying for and here you are saying all that for hatred. I stand to advice you all. We as civil society organisation we welcomed the initiative only sad that pipo are being pushed and manipulated not to pay back. Sad development

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    • Nobody is pushing the marketeers not to pay. They know very well why they were given the money in the first place. They have not even voted yet. The so-called loans were bribes for their votes. You will have to wait until after 11 August – if Chakolwa wins then these marketeers are in trouble because he will want his money back.

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  12. Zambia will take time to develop with such pipo like you who have ill comments about a well initiative to help pipo who cant access money from lending institutions are not good and lack a heart for the pipo. This is what pipo were crying for and here you are saying all that for hatred. I stand to advice you all. We as civil society organisation we welcomed the initiative only sad that pipo are being pushed and manipulated not to pay back. Sad development

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  13. People just eat that money and no one should push you around. Where can a K2000 take you in these hard times! Remind the drunkard to also pay back the K25 million he has stolen. Do him a don’t kubeba on 11 August.

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  14. Public funds are being disbursed corruptly, fraudulently and without any national appraisal systems.
    Any loss of such funds should be recoverable from the estates of people involved in these scandals. The public should not be made to bear losses from clearly fraudulent schemes.

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  15. THANKYOU PEOPLE FOR REFUSING TO PAY BACK THAT MONEY.REMEMBER LUNGU TOLD THE NATION THAT THE MONEY WAS NOT FOR GRZ BUT FROM WELL WISHERS.NOW REMEMBER THAT IF CHAKOLWA IS VOTED BACK IN POWER,HE WILL PURSUE YOU FOR HIS CASH.IF YOU VOTE FOR HH,HE WILL MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE NOT FORCED TO REPAY STOLEN MONEY. BE WISE ZAMBIANS FOR A CHANGE.

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  16. Why should people pay back their money?
    Only fools will pay back that free money.
    It is free money the president gives to the luck Ones. If he can give it to all of us we can be happy and wish him a good exit.

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  17. Why resort to insults instead of collaborating intelligently? In the first place if we had decent people in government they would have asked for some form of collateral. You just don’t give loans not knowing if you people can pay them back. Banks usually ask collateral and whether one has a house, land etc. You get serious people that way who might think twice about getting the money. As well how much was the total funding loan project because it seems some people benefited more than the marketers from this money. I would never say this but happy the marketeers refused to pay back these loans. The government cannot continue cheating its people and a lesson learned.

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  18. Bad initiatives will always result in this. Govt did not plan this well and they misled the people where they got this money and who was behind it. Marketeers are not stuupid and understand what they are doing very well. They know senior officials are stealing and they are left to suffer. So these loans it is like twalafilila munsenga period. Those loans will never be recovered and PF should instead start looking at ways to repay them period!

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  19. The marketeers are misguided. They are displaying the typical Zambian attitude inherited from the KK days. “Ala fyabuteko”
    The money was given in good faith as the same people complain about not being assisted by Government. Even the opposition campaign on the same plight of marketeers not being helped by Government.

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  20. Whether the funds are from the government or other well wishers it was doomed to fail right from the start as it is connected to the President….it is called Presidential empowerment fund after all. There are so many examples of failed empowerment funds when connected to politics. Contrary to what the CEO of this organisation is saying there are many other organisations, MFIs in particular like FINCA, Cetzam and Vision Fund that are far more better equiped to lend money to marketeers. The Presidential fund does not even have the instititional infrastructure or HR to manage such a fund sustainable or equitably. If govt of EL or PF really wanted to utilise their resources effectively they should have channeled this support to building an ape fund which the aforementioned MFIs could…

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