Govt loses $80k as youths skip to SA

VP Mphoko

VP Mphoko

Pamela Shumba:Bulawayo Bureau

THE majority of youths in Tsholotsho who received loans from Government to start income generating projects skipped the country and headed to South Africa resulting in only $7 000 being repaid from the $87 000 that was disbursed.Matabeleland North provincial head in the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Mr Buthumuzi Ngwenya revealed this on Friday while making a presentation at a provincial advocacy meeting for HIV programming for displaced communities in Bulawayo.

The meeting, which was organised by the National Aids Council, was attended by heads of department from various ministries in an effort to counter other disasters that might affect the more than 800 flood victims accommodated at Sipepa Camp in Tsholotsho.

Mr Ngwenya said the problem of floods in Tsholotsho is part of a myriad of challenges that needed urgent attention in the district.

He said most of the youths who benefited from Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund left for South Africa with the money.

“Floods are the least thing that the people in Tsholotsho needed because the district already has more problems than other districts. Out of the seven districts in the province, Tsholotsho was the worst in terms of repayment of the Youth Fund. The district received $87 000. Out of that money $80 000 disappeared. The youths were receiving $1 200 as individuals and most of them didn’t repay.

“They left for South Africa and used the money for their upkeep in the neighbouring country as they looked for jobs. It’s difficult to trace them,” said Mr Ngwenya.

He said 90 percent of the youths in Binga managed to pay back the money while other districts including Nkayi, Umguza, Hwange and Lupane also tried to pay back the loans.

Mr Ngwenya said it was difficult to use traditional leaders to trace the youths as some of the leaders also benefited from Government funds but never paid back.

“Some of the chiefs are defaulters so it’s difficult to get assistance from them. We, therefore, need multi-sectoral programming that will help our youths focus on skills development and be able to be innovative and work without being pushed.

“Now that the floods have come and gone, we must not rest. We have to come up with measures that will make the people in Tsholotsho less vulnerable. They should be able to survive in whatever circumstances,” he said.

Mr Ngwenya said some youths in the area go to South Africa before they finish school, where they do menial jobs.

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko is on record as urging young people to shun the habit of travelling to South Africa illegally, saying there was nothing for them but death in the neighbouring country.

VP Mphoko, who is also Zimbabwe’s former Ambassador to South Africa, said he was speaking from experience as he had come across cases of young boys and girls who left school and ended up being exploited to become sex slaves and homosexuals.

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  • Kuta Kinte

    This is very unfortunate to say the least. How then can the government assist to improve the lives of Zimbabweans so that we can work for ourselves and avoid the syndrome of receiving handouts? In South Africa, they do menial activities, they are exploited and that is common knowledge to all Zimbabweans. Even in a family set up, if the parents give their child money to start up any beneficiary project then the child disappears like the prodigal son, how will the parents feel? Why do we want to work to benefit others especially after having had the opportunity to work for ourselves and for our benefit? Politics aside, please let us learn to work for ourselves and use such projects monies for our benefit at whichever corner of Zimbabwe. We cannot continue to shoot ourselves on our feet.

  • Tinovaziva

    This is what corruption and nepotism brings you. Those of us who love this country where never considered. I had to fund my own business, sacrificing potential growth due to lack of funds. It is profitable and sustainable but it would be bigger right now.

  • mental poison

    this was cheap politiking mixed with ignorant deliquency, there were no background checks and proper moniteering and evaluation done before and after giving the funds. vote buying gone wrong, because if the above precautions were taken into consideration and deserving people benefit, no such situation would have happened.

  • yowe

    Excellent post

  • Gerge Gudo

    Why did the chiefs get money from the youth fund?