GOVERNMENT says it is sniffing out for corrupt officials in the Youth Empowerment and Development ministry following reports of misuse of public funds.
The ministry oversees projects aimed at empowering the youths with project start-up funds and capacity training among other interventions. The youth empowerment fund has, however, over the years been looted through fake projects.
Youth Empowerment and Development minister Tinoda Machakaire on Monday confirmed that they had launched a probe into the abuse of youth funds.
“These are funds meant to benefit our youths, and it becomes disturbing to hear that some officials may have diverted the funds for personal use,” Machakaire said during a strategic planning workshop.
“We have to be accountable and transparent in the way we handle public funds, hence officials accused of graft will not have it easy; they will not be spared but will be shown the exit door.”
In her previous reports, former Auditor-General Mildred Chiri unearthed serious irregularities in the handling of youth empowerment funds.
Machakaire said his ministry will not tolerate the abuse of youth empowerment funds.
"We are stewards of government resources," he said.
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"The money that we are using is mostly taxpayers’ money. Let us use government resources responsibly, the way we are responsible with resources for our family, businesses, churches or other organisationswe are involved in. I will not tolerate abuse of public funds or abuse of public assets."
The Youth Empowerment Fund was launched in 2006 to support youth empowerment and development as a revolving loan facility for income-generating projects.
Yet over a decade later, there are a few success stories recorded as the youth fund failed to effectively empower the intended beneficiaries.