But to this day many youths are still complaining that they have not received the loans, save perhaps for a few with good connections.
To blame the Youth minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his deputy, Tongai Matutu, would be unfair, as the two never had any control over the funds. Old Mutual intended to disburse the money in a non-partisan manner, which is fair enough.
The funds were said to be coming through bank accounts opened with CABS, and consequently, thousands of youths flocked to CABS branches countrywide, opening bank accounts at a charge of US$10 per account, resulting in the bank raking in thousands of dollars.
Scores were heartbroken after receiving letters in which the bank “regretted” informing them that it was unable to process their loan applications. None were given reasons, yet the same bank had urged the youths to speedily apply for the loans for which no collateral security was required. The fact that these loans were being given with no collateral security was suspicious.
Common practice is that for every loan facility processed by any bank anywhere, there should be a surety or collateral security needed to protect the institution in the event of the loan recipient defaulting. In the case of our Youth Fund, there was nothing like that, which raises a lot of questions. Yet VP Mujuru was made to dangle the US$11 million cheque to fund young entrepreneurs in the country; a fund that, as it now appears, never was.
It seems this was a fundraising scheme by CABS in conjunction with Old Mutual through the US$10 bank account-opening charges drawn from desperate youths. The youth comprise over 70% of the country’s total population and chances are high that thousands of them scrambled for the loan facility and opened bank accounts with CABS, making that organisation richer while youths got poorer.
Dusty Miller’s negative column unhelpful
I am a visiting Canadian tourist who picked up your paper for the first time recently. I was generally impressed, but I must say that it strikes me as absurd that The Standard would provide Dusty Miller with an entire page of space, seeing as in his latest column he can’t think of a single thing to do in Harare, given 48 hours.
Miller purports to be a restaurant critic, one would think he could at least start by recommending some restaurants. But no, Miller goes on to use almost two full columns to disparage and mock the city he apparently unhappily inhabits.
For the record, I found Mbare Msika to be well worth visiting. I was not mugged, nor did I contact cholera or typhoid. Of the many thousands of people I saw there during my two visits, perhaps some were thieves or dealers in stolen goods, but I could say the same of my home town in Canada.
As for Harare, I enjoyed visiting several cafes and restaurants during my stay, and hoped to take in a play and hear some local music before leaving. Perhaps The Standard could offer Miller’s space to a more open-minded individual who actually takes an interest in local culture, rather than offering us Miller’s rather narrow viewpoint.
Edwin Wright, Vancouver, Canada.
ZCTU outraged by CDF abuse
The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) is deeply dismayed that some members of parliament had the temerity to abuse Constituency Development Funds.
Reports at hand have revealed that 10 legislators some of whom are cabinet ministers have failed to account for the funds.
As ZCTU, we are outraged that people who are supposed to be torchbearers of our society have in turn abused taxpayers’ hard-earned monies to satisfy their selfish egos. We demand that government and law enforcement agencies take appropriate action without any discrimination.
The abuse of the CDF should be a wake up call for voters to choose those who represent them in parliament wisely. The latest developments show that some of the so-called MPs are only after personal aggrandisement instead of honestly representing the povo who elected them into office.
The ZCTU strongly believes that the full wrath of the law must take its course and send a clear message that corrupt and greedy legislators will never be tolerated in the august house.
ZCTU Communication officer