George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
A Chiredzi councillor has rolled out a US$10 000 revolving fund to finance projects aimed at empowering women and youths in the sugar cane growing town as part of a drive to enable marginalised groups to actively participate in the development of their localities.
Women and youths drawn from Ward 2 in Chiredzi have to date benefited from the fund that mirrors President Mnangagwa’s mantra that a nation is developed by its citizens, (nyika inovakwa nevene vayo).
Chiredzi Ward 2 councillor Obert Ngwenya has been hailed for initiating the working capital.
The revolving fund also resonates with Government’s drive of “leaving no one and no place behind’’, as Zimbabwe angles towards Vision 2030 that seeks to transform the country into an upper middle income society.
Cde Ngwenya’s intervention has seen the decline in crimes that has seen youths getting financing to start self-helping projects, with the youths hailing the empowerment project.
Women in the ward have since been empowered to venture into commercial manufacturing of detergents, poultry and running flea market stalls.
Besides launching the revolving fund for women and youths, Cde Ngwenya has also been credited for drilling boreholes and access bridges in the civil works area.
Reverend Precious Kanyimo of Shineplus under Ward 2 in Chiredzi hailed Cde Ngwenya for initiating the development of the area.
“Youths have benefited from the revolving fund,” she said.
“The money was interest free and after every three months beneficiaries pay it back, so that other beneficiaries can also effect drawdowns.
“I was able to start my poultry business and now I proudly boast over 500 birds thanks to the revolving fund, I am now able to send my children to school and embark on other projects.
“Some of the beneficiaries are now into cross border trading, while others have opened retail shops.”
Mrs Johana Zvinorova of Shineplus welcomed the empowerment project.
“To date several youths and women have benefited from the empowerment projects initiated by Councillor Ngwenya and some of the residents have had their lives transformed after getting capital to venture into cross-border trading, running tuckshops among other projects,” she said.
“We welcome this project.’’
Mrs Kabanda Chileka of Civil Works said her business grew exponentially over the past six months.
“I was able to venture into poultry production and out of it managed to acquire a water pump that enabled me to venture into commercial horticulture production on my small piece of land thanks to the profits that I made,” she said.
“My business continued to grow in leaps and bounds and today I now run a company that produce detergents which I am now supplying to schools and local shops.”
Mrs Chileka said besides stemming vices such as drug abuse and crime amongst youths, empowerment projects introduced by Clr Ngwenya had changed the lives of many women.
Clr Ngwenya said his target was to empower over 1 000 women and youths in Chiredzi.
“Our target is to make sure that we play our small part in making sure we achieve targets set by President Mnangagwa to make Zimbabwe an upper middle income economy by 2030,” he said.
“We are inspired by the President whose rallying call is ‘nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’ and in our drive we are targeting mainly women and youths so that they are also not left behind.”