By ADRIAN MWANZA
THE Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development has lost K82, 968,739 from defaulting youths who were empowered through the government’s various youth empowerment programmes, says the latest Auditor General’s report.
According to the report, Government spent K88, 916, 306 for empowerment of over 12, 836 youths.
The report indicated that as at December 31, 2020 only K5, 947, 567 had been recovered, leaving a balance of K82, 968, 739.
Government in 2012, 2013 and 2014 disbursed K52, 000, 000 for the Youth Development Fund which was aimed at providing capital to youth-led micro, small and medium enterprises for wealth and employment creation.
The loans ranged from K2, 500 to K50, 000 with a repayment period of five years.
However, as at December 31, 2020 only K2, 800, 000 had been recovered, leaving a balance of K49, 200, 000 representing a default rate of 95 percent consequently, the scheme was suspended in December 2018.
The report indicated that the balance of K49, 200, 000 had not been recovered and no action had been taken against the defaulters.
Government also undertook the Higer Buses Empowerment Scheme phase one and on March 1, 2016, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development entered into a purchase agreement with the Public and Private Bus Drivers Association of Zambia (PPBDAZ) and Higer Bus Zambia Limited for the purchase of 25 buses at a cost of K55, 000, 000 (US$5, 272, 000).
According to the terms of the loan as at December 31, 2018, PPBDAZ was expected to have made repayments totalling K12, 820, 000 to the Ministry, however, only K2, 400, 000 had been repaid.
Consequently, on December 31, 2018, the ministry on the recommendation of the Solicitor General seized the buses.