ZANU PF Youth League secretary for administration Kudzai Chipanga has called on the government to facilitate the reintroduction of the suspended $10 million Old Mutual Youth Fund and the operationalise Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) for the benefit of youths across the country.
The Old Mutual Youth Fund stopped disbursing funds to youths’ projects early this year after as high as 80% of the beneficiaries failed to repay the loans which act as a revolving fund while most of the CSOTs are yet to embark on any major projects in their communities.
Chipanga made the remarks during Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment minister Christopher Mushowe’s first meeting with youth groups last week.
“Minister we are asking you to digest this over the festive the season, youths are calling for the re-operationalisation of the Youth Fund so that we can fund our own projects to create employment,” Chipanga said.
“The CSOTs have gone quiet and there are no activities that are employing the youth in the communities and we feel this should be looked into as a matter of urgency.”
Chipanga also said former Youth minister Saviour Kasukuwere was the last visible and effective cabinet member who tackled these two important issues.
“Without laying any blame on the former minister Francis Nhema we have noticed that the Youth Fund and operations of CSOTs became invisible after minister Kasukuwere left, we implore you to look into these issues of Youth Fund and CSOTs,” he said.
The youths also called for the decentralisation Youth Fund approval to provinces and districts so that many youths can access these funds.
Mushowe took over from Nhema a fortnight ago after the latter was relieved of his duties by President Robert Mugabe allegedly for performance below expectation. Nhema is among the 16 ministers who have been booted out after this month’s Zanu PF congress where those aligned to former Vice President Joice Mujuru have been at the receiving end.
Mushowe comes in from being Minister of State for Manicaland Province.