Malawi Government says some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials owe government K40 million they allegedly obtained by false pretence through Yedef using unsuspecting youths.
Youth Development and Sports Minister Enock Chihana was speaking in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, on Thursday on the sidelines of a news conference where he announced lifting of the suspension of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Yedef) loans.
Said Chihana: â€œIn the course of our efforts to recover the money, we discovered that some beneficiaries were not youths as per requirement of the guidelines approved by government. We are building a criminal case against these people who are above the bracket of youths. We feel this was great injustice to the vulnerable youths who could have benefited from the K40 million.â€
He claimed the youth were mobilised in groups and given already filled forms, adding that officials influenced officers responsible for loan distributions to release money to the groups.
â€œInvestigations are almost over and government will arrest those people who are implicated in the loan scam. It is pathetic that at the end of the day, the used youths were given only K10 000 each in a group and the rest of the money were pocketed by these officials,â€ said Chihana.
The Yedef programme was launched in 2009 and over K1.4 billion had already been disbursed as cash loans by the time government suspended the programme last year.
â€œThe programme was heavily politicised that most of the people who got the loans did not do anything worthwhile and [there were] no assets which government can claim. There was serious abuse of the fund,â€ said Chihana.
Meanwhile, government has resumed disbursement of the funds after sourcing K200 million.