A youth empowerment pressure group Upfumi Kuvadiki/Inotho Kwabatsha has supported calls for the government to prioritise revival of Bulawayo industries and allocate more resources towards the programme.
In an interview with NewsDay on the sidelines of a lecture at the Lupane State University, the organisation president Alson Darikayi last week said the $40 million the inclusive government had allocated the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) was “too little”, considering the city was once ranked as the country’s industrial hub.
“We will be playing our role in terms of advocacy around the de-industrialisation of Bulawayo,” he said.
“The government promised to unveil $40 million under the Dimaf programme, which is little money anyway. But where is that money? (Finance minister) Biti has that money and he should just release the money so that youths can be empowered. Employment is part of empowerment.”
Darikayi said the government should allocate more money towards revival of the city’s industrial base.
“In the next Budget, there should be funds set aside for the revival of industry here; not this $40 million which is paltry, but a substantial amount of money,” he said.
Upfumi Kuvadiki’s southern region chairperson, Albert Mavunga said: “We don’t want our region to be left behind. As youths in this region, we should also benefit from policies and programmes that are running in this country. It is shocking that some youths from this region didn’t even know that there were loans for youths. As an association we are here to coach and help other young people.”