Chongwe youths traders allege corruption in youth empowerment
Youth traders in Chongwe have alleged corruption in a youth empowerment program that was recently administered by the Ministry of Youth and sport and the district administration in Chongwe.
The youth empowerment program which was intended to benefit 600 youths in different markets in Chongwe is alleged to have been marred with corruption.
Some youth traders allege that some officers at the district administrative office registered their relatives instead of the intended youth market traders.
A youth who spoke on condition of anonymity said that she was approached by an officer from the district commissioner’s office who enlisted her as a beneficiary. She said that to her surprise she was told to share part of the K500.00 she received.
“I am not a trader, but an officer told me to go and collect the funds. She later asked me to give her K250.00. I obliged because she assured me that I did not need to pay back the funds although the beneficiary form stated so,” she alleged.
Another youth trader at Chongwe main market, Mwenya Ndumbu alleged that some youths in the market applied, but were left out on the date of issuance.
She therefore appealed to the government to ensure that such funds reached the intended beneficiaries.
A beneficiary at Chongwe market, Violet Mumba said that she received the funds after cleaning a named office.
She said that she did not apply, but was put on the list after she asked for her pay for the piece work she had done.
A committee member at Showground’s market in Chongwe who declined to be named said that the committee was not aware of the exercise, but was shocked to learn that some youths who were not marketeers had benefited.
Chongwe district commissioner, Robster Mwanza said that each beneficiary youth trader received K500.00 which was supposed to be paid back in installments of K100.00 per week.
He claimed that the fund beneficiaries were identified by market committees in different markets in the district.
He said that the beneficiary list was done by the committees and as such he could not state whether the funds reached the intended beneficiaries or not.
He said that this was left to the committees who his office trusted had brought the rightful beneficiaries.
When asked whether the beneficiaries had started paying back, the DC said that he was not aware whether the beneficiaries had started paying back the loans or not.
He however insisted that the loans will surely be paid back.
By JOHN KOMBE