Minister of Youth, Sports and Arts Elvis Nkandu has demanded that youths who got loans in form of buses, grinders and wood-mizers during the Patriotic Front Government payback.
Mr. Nkandu said loans are meant to be paid back unlike donations or handouts. The Kaputa Member of Parliament revealed that many youths who got loans in form of buses, grinders and wood-mizers during the PF government are yet to pay back the loans.
Mr. Nkandu warned that the government may be forced to repossess the buses, Grinders and wood-mizers if the affected youths do not show commitment toward paying back the loans.
He also questioned the criteria used to empower people with buses, grinders and woodmizers. Mr. Nkandu said he suspects that some people who got loans from the Minister of Youth are not even youths.
“Whoever gets money from Government should learn lessons from their colleagues that they should pay back. If they don’t pay back the law will take its course,” he said.
“I still have a feeling that there are some empowerment programmes that we have given but have not reached the youths. When I was interviewing some of the people who got loans I was told that we were just told to register in our names and they are not even our buses.
“So it is like there are other old people behind, who collected those buses on loan using the youths but you know if we are very serious on absorbing the unemployment levels then I would warn the youths not to be used,” Mr. Nkandu added.
“You know youths have been used in violence and now they have sacrificed again to be used as fronts that can collect something on behalf of the adults. I don’t think we are going anywhere so that trend must be stopped.”
The Government March 2021 procured 50 fuel tankers and some buses as part of its programme to empower youths in the transport sector.
25 of the fuel tankers were distributed to youth cooperatives in some parts of the country such as Lusaka, Copperbelt and Eastern Provinces.
At that time, then President Edgar Lungu said he did not want youths who were empowered to fail to pay back the loans.
Mr. Lungu had said the culture of not paying back government loans among the people was growing, adding that the situation needed to be addressed if government is to empower more youths.
The Ministry of Youths and Sports had promised to arrange various capacity building programmes on how the youths can successfully run businesses and payback loans.
Meanwhile, the New Dawn Government at the weekend launched Empowerment Scheme targeting to benefit 360 young people on the Copperbelt and over 2,000 youths across the country.