THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youths has heard that beneficiaries of the Youth Development Fund in Masvingo have only repaid $44 707 of the $230 310 loan received in 2012 for various start-up projects.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The Justice Mayor Wadyajena-led committee, which is on a countrywide tour of funded projects, on Sunday heard most beneficiaries from Masvingo province gave false names and addresses, making it difficult for the ministry to recover the money.
Speaking at a public hearing at Mucheke Hall, some of the youths declared that they will not repay the money because their projects had collapsed.
Others blamed banks and the Youth ministry for giving them huge sums of money without equipping them with financial management skills.
The committee members also heard that while some projects were still ongoing, the majority had collapsed
Masvingo acting provincial programme head, June Mbizvo, said 209 projects were approved for the province and $230 310 released, but only $44 707 was paid back, leaving a balance of $185 602.
“Bikita district had nine projects and the amount disbursed was $7 510 and the repayment rate as at April was $406, leaving an outstanding balance of $7 103,” he revealed. The default rate is 95%. Chiredzi had 30 beneficiaries that were given $33 700 and $12 105 was repaid leaving an outstanding balance of $21 504 and a default rate of 64%.
Chivi had 12 beneficiaries, who got $8 900 and they paid back 1 805, leaving an outstanding balance of $7 094 and a default percentage of 80%.”
Other districts such as Gutu, Masvingo, Mwenezi and Zaka had an average default rate of 85%.
The loan facility, bankrolled by Cabs, CBZ, the Infrastructure Development Bank and Stanbic, was introduced in 2012 by the Youth, Economic Empowerment and Indigenisation ministry as part of a $40 million facility to offer start up loans to disadvantaged youths.
Old Mutual contributed $1 million to the Youth Development Fund for vehicles and other administrative expenses.
Of the 10 vehicles purchased under the scheme, three were reportedly grounded within six months.