President Hakainde Hichilema has launched the K171.5 million worth Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) booster loans for marketers countrywide.
The loan facility enables marketers to acquire credits from between K500 and K5,000 that are payable in six months at no interest.
Speaking during the launch at State House this afternoon, President Hichilema said the booster loans are another way of creating a revolving fund for the marketers.
Mr Hichilema said the loans are a demonstration of government’s enduring commitment to serve the Zambian people by creating tangible opportunities for economic empowerment.
The President said marketers have been neglected for a long time despite being instrumental in Zambia’s economy.
“We ignored for many years those that made the trade possible between the producers, farmers and other manufacturers through the market. Through those people we were able to feed our families every single day,” President Hichilema said.
President Hichilema also called for enhanced financial literacy to enable the recipients to be well vest in financial matters.
He said the loans will address the challenge of lack of financing for people in the informal sector such as the marketers.
The Head of State has since advised the recipients of the loans not to consume the money but instead use it to grow their businesses.
“But the important issue is now that this facility will allow the marketers not to extract payments such as school fees, costs such as examination fees, they can retain that money in their business as working capital and grow,” Mr Hichilema said.
Speaking at the same event, Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) Director General, Muwa Mungule, described the loan facility as a game changer.
Dr Mungule thanked government for entrusting CEEC with the task of handling such a programme that will improve the lives of the marketers.
And Zambia National Marketers Credit Association (ZANAMACA) President Mupila Kameya commended government for looking into the plight of marketeers.
Meanwhile, Zambia National Marketeers Association Chairman General, Eros Malinda, said the loan facility will go a long way towards improving the lives of marketers.