ZANU PF youths have asked President Robert Mugabe’s broke government to allocate them at least $5 billion for various economic empowerment projects ahead of next year’s general elections, describing the $40 million start-up loan they received under the National Youth Fund (NYF) as a pittance.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Addressing a Zanu PF Manicaland inter-district meeting in Mutare at the weekend, the ruling party’s national youth political commissar, Innocent Hamandishe, scoffed at allegations that they looted the NYF coffers dry.
Hamandishe also laughed off the countrywide investigations recently conducted by the Justice Mayor Wadyajena’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth and Indigenisation, describing the exercise as a “useless witch-hunt and a waste of taxpayers’ money”.
‘’We need real projects. Someone is saying he is carrying out an investigation, what investigation? When we call for projects for youths, we are not talking about youths selling tomatoes. We need $5 billion, not the issue of 10 cents you are saying and we surely need the money,’’ he said.
Speaking at the same event, Manicaland Provincial Affairs minister Mandiitawepi Chimene accused Wadyajena of acting like an opposition activist by exposing abuse of public funds by party members.
“The issue of loans, this one (Wadyajena) is one of you, but he is now behaving like he is not one of you. Actually, I contributed for him to be that portfolio chairperson committee position,’’ she said.
‘”But he is now saying that money was looted by the youths. Surely, if we want to look at him from the front and back, did he not also use the money?’’ she asked.
In 2012, Zanu PF youths from all the provinces benefited from the $40 million facility from the NYF financed by four banks CABS, CBZ, Stanbic and Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, but Wadyajena’s committee has established that the majority of the beneficiaries defaulted in paying back the loans.
Zanu PF Manicaland provincial youth chairman Mubuso Chinguno described Wadyajena’s fact-finding mission as a hounding.
“We are worried with the behaviour of Wadyajena, he is behaving like a tsikamutanda (witch-hunter) as he is going around the country exposing the youths. This is in bad taste because the financial sector will lose confidence in us (youths). There are successful cases of our youths who are doing well,’’ he claimed.