48 Cooperatives in Kabwata Constituency have received grants totalling 1,920,000 Kwacha under the women and youth community empowerment.
Kabwata Member of Parliament Andrew Teyengwa has advised the beneficiaries of the grant to use it for its intended purpose, adding that anyone with intentions of diverting the grant will be followed by the relevant officers and will not be a considered beneficiary in the next phase of receiving grants.
“We want you to start improving your lives because the investment that you are going to make will enable you to change the destiny of your lives, for this is a seed that you are planting today and when you plant a seed today, don’t expect a harvest the following day as the harvest will only come even after three years but what’s important is to plant the seed, have the farmers mentality if you want to succeed in whatever you are doing,” Mr Teyengwa explained
Mr Teyengwa has since urged the beneficiaries to utilize the skills and knowledge acquired when they were being taught on how to manage the funds, from the training that they had, stating that he hopes all the beneficiaries of the grant have undergone the required training on how to manage the funds as it is not wise to give out empowerment funds without prior training on how people should manage the funds.
“These are funds that should move you from one level to the other, only if you apply the principle of planting the seed and waiting for the right time to harvest,” he stated
Mr Teyengwa has advised the beneficiaries to consider working in unity because where there’s unity, there’s progress, because working in division will lead to the failure of the Cooperative.
“Unite and ensure that the plans that were put in place when forming the cooperatives should be accomplished,” Mr Teyengwa mentioned
And Lusaka District Commissioner Rosa Zulu who graced the handover ceremony as the guest of honor stated that the beneficiaries of the CDF empowerment grants should utilize the funds prudently as they are pioneers of this noble cause.
“Your prudent utilization of these funds shall be a yardstick to determine the viability and sustainability of this empowerment programme, the same way you cooperated when applying for these funds, is the same way you are expected to coordinate as you utilize the funds,” she said
Ms Zulu has since advised people especially the youths to take advantage of this rare opportunity that the New Dawn Government has created, stating that the youths should turn from spectators to participants as it is time to form cooperatives, register businesses and apply for skills development bursaries.
Ms Zulu mentioned that the handover of the grants is a fulfilment of a historical milestone which seemed only like a dream especially to the naysayers who thought it was impossible to empower the Zambian people and improve their lives.
“Most people thought we would not deliver, but on secondary schools, we have bursaries and skills development bursaries, children are enjoying the free education and those interested in skills development are in schools,” she noted
“I want to assure the people of Kabwata Constituency that you are in safe hands with Mr Teyengwa as he is a full-time community worker who deliver according to his promises,” she said
Ms Zulu has since commended the New Dawn Administration for broadening the scope of the Constituency Development Fund – CDF from partly 1.6 million kwacha to an represented 25.7 million kwacha to include individual beneficiaries.
Meanwhile, Kabwata Constituency Development Fund – CDF Committee Chairman Chilekwa Mukonge noted that the CDF guidelines that were put in place were followed accordingly during the selection process of the beneficiary Cooperatives.
“The CDF committee has no favourites because it represents the interests of all the people of Kabwata Constituency, as the MP would want to see his people benefit from all the CDF packages,” he noted
He said that a total of 145 Cooperatives applied for the CDF empowerment grants and 48 were successful.
Mr Mukonge mentioned that the Cooperatives that were not successful under CDF empowerment grants still have an opportunity to apply for CDF empowerment loans whose guideline was given on 25th October,2022.
He noted that after compiling the reasons as to why some Cooperatives were not successful, his committee called for a meeting with all Ward Development Committee – WDC Chairpersons with their Committees to explain to them the reasons, from this Mr Mukonge expressed confidence that they will do better with the selection of the loans as the WDCs will be more cautious.
And Mudenda Mudenda one of the beneficiaries from Kuhiba Multipurpose Cooperative expressed gratitude for the success of the handover of the grants, stating that this has been made possible because of the consented effort of President Hakainde Hichilema and Kabwata MP Andrew Teyengwa for initiating this idea and ensuring that everything was done according to plan and agreed target.
“These grants are not for consumption but rather an investment that the cooperatives have been empowered with and should therefore be used for its intended purpose,” Ms Mudenda said