HomeNewsYouth ministry faces eviction over $650,000 rent arrears

Youth ministry faces eviction over $650,000 rent arrears

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THE Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment faces eviction from some of its rented offices throughout the country after it accumulated $658 550 in rental arrears due to inadequate release of funds by Treasury.

VENERANDA LANGA
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER

Acting secretary in the ministry Emmanuel Ngwarati yesterday appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment and said the Zimbabwe Youth Council based in Newlands was already homeless as they had been served with an eviction order.

“Parliament approved an appropriation budget of $44 450 000 and employment costs constitute the largest portion of the budget with 74,5% ($16 099 875) during the first half of the financial year. The biggest drawback is the paltry release of funds by Treasury where a total amount of only $1 201 197 (10, 6%) of the budget outside employment costs was released,” Ngwarati said.

“The major challenge are outstanding bills owed in respect of office rentals for ministry offices in various districts, which have accumulated to $658 550, and the ministry is constantly receiving threats of eviction from service providers,” he said.

On goods and services, he said out of an allocation of $1 345 000, only $5 000 was released resulting in vocational training centres (VTCs) failing to procure critical training materials.

“The 42 centres had to rely on fees paid by students, which are $50 per term for day scholars and $200 per term for borders.

“ However, most students at VTCs come from very poor backgrounds and the fees were not enough to cater for the needs of vocational training centres.”

Ngwarati said no funds were released for maintenance resulting in old buildings falling apart and a large component of the vehicle fleet grounded.

The committee chaired by Gokwe Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu PF) also grilled the ministry officials over a $27 000 loan which was given to members of the Johane Marange Apostolic sect, which Allied Bank said the sect members were now failing to repay.

In response, Ngwarati said: “It was a payment paid from the ministry’s accounts and not Allied Bank and we have made follow-ups to ensure that the money is repaid.

“We are doing loan rescheduling with them so that they pay and we will provide Parliament with the evidence.”

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