Out of the K3 billion ($17.9 million) earmarked for the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (Yedef) loans, only K200 million ($1.2 million) is left after two disbursements, a Yedef senior official has disclosed.
Yedef general manager Joseph Mononga on Wednesday disclosed that about K1.5 billion ($8.9 million) has been used in the first tranche which was concluded in December 2010 and the second one currently in progress after applicants were approved.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Out of the whole amount, about K34 million [$203 592] went into training for the applicants for both the first phase and the current one. If you do your calculations, you will see that we have been left with almost K200 million out of the K1.8 billion [$10.7 million] which was meant as cash loans,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Mononga was speaking during a news conference in MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s capital, Lilongwe, he held together with Minister of Youth Development and Sports Symon Vuwa Kaunda. The two were responding to concerns PeopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Party (PP) raised that despite huge sums being allocated to Yedef and the ministry, no youth development is taking place in the country.
Mononga said the fund was initially set at K1 billion ($6 million) before it was raised to K3 billion, part of which was in form of a letter of credit from India where the equipment for the K1.2 billion ($7.2 million) loan was bought.
He said in the 2009/10 budget, government released K1 billion and the first disbursement amounted to K840 805 805 ($5 million) and that part of the money was used for training.
Added Mononga: Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the 2010/11 budget K800 000 000 [$47 904] was released and as I am talking, we are disbursing K552 386 700 [$3.3 million]. We are now remaining with almost K200 million for the next phase, but since people will be paying back in the process, that will not be the only money available. This is basically a revolving fund.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The loans currently being disbursed were approved in September 2011.
In his remarks, Vuwa Kaunda challenged political groups in the country to thoroughly research and follow issues, especially in Parliament to understand what is happening before throwing accusations.