The National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef), formerly Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf), says it will disburse K20 billion in group loans by June this year.
Thus far, according to Neef chief executive officer Humphrey Mdyetseni, the fund has between February and March disbursed K3 billion to 1 500 groups each comprising 10 members.
Speaking on Wednesday in Lilongwe during a visit to Neef offices by Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama, Mdyetseni said there has been remarkable progress in the disbursement of loans.
He said: “We had teething problems at the beginning, especially when Neef was reconstructed in September last year.
“Management headed by myself was only put in place in November and we had to make preparatory arrangements to review the process of loan disbursement for all various loan categories that we are implementing.”
Mdyetseni said beneficiaries of the loans are Malawians, disputing assertion that the fund targets members of one political party.
He said: “I want to clarify that these funds are for Malawians regardless of political or any social affiliation.
“What matters is that Malawians must satisfy criteria that are laid down by Neef to ensure that a credible loan is disbursed with assurances of recovery.”
On his part, Msungama said he was impressed with progress made by Neef in loan disbursement.
“Neef loans should not be politicised and that the funds should not benefit members of certain parties but all Malawians,” he said.
Last year, Medf, before it rebranded to Neef, indicated that it will not recover about K8.9 billion worth of loans issued to beneficiaries who used fake phone numbers, dentification cards and locations. n