Youths didn’t get wrecks under Higer Buses empowerment scheme, says Minister
By OLIVER SAMBOKO
GOVERNMENT has refuted claims by some youth cooperatives that benefitted from the Higer Buses empowerment programme, that some buses they received had old engines and faulty.
Youth and Sports Minister Elvis Nkandu said the claims are false and not adding up because if that was the case, the beneficiaries should have not accepted the loans.
He said it is sad that the cooperatives that benefitted from the Higer buses have not been paying for the loan facility.
Mr Nkandu said if they knew that the buses which they were given had problems, the cooperatives should have negotiated at that time and not wait until today.
“As Government we will not accept that claim that the buses were faulty because if what are claiming is true, why then did they accept to get them when they knew it was a loan which they have to pay back,” he said.
He said it’s unfortunate that the cooperatives neglected to remit the money to the ministry despite knowing too well that the buses they got were a loan.
Mr Nkandu said as far as the government is concerned the loans should be paid back so that other youths who did not benefit can also benefit from the facility.
“As far as government is concerned the issue of faulty buses should not even arise because those who claiming that are not being sincere,” he said, adding that the ministry has since asked those who got the buses to bring them back so that a way forward can be found.
But the defaulting cooperatives have claimed that they have been failing to service the loan because all the money they have been making goes towards repairs.
“When getting the buses, we were told that the engines were brand new and all the other spare parts. Unfortunately, what we found out was something else,” said one member of a cooperative who requested for anonymity.