Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment will make enquires on how the Youth Fund was distributed and used. Chairperson of the portfolio committee Cde Justice Mayor Wadyajena said in his quest to uplift the empowerment of the youth in the country’s provinces, his committee was going to conduct public hearings in all the countries provinces to ascertain the number of youths who benefited from the fund. Addressing community leaders, chiefs and teachers on the dictates of his committee at Nyamazengwe Primary School in Gokwe, he said the duties of legislators were to represent the aspirations of the people.
“Our committee will continue to play its oversight role in monitoring the performances of all executive arms of governance in their implementation of youth and community related policies,” he said. “For this parliamentary session, our attention will be on the Youth Fund. The documents we have in our possession reveal that many youths were given money and benefited. We want to do thorough investigations in all the provinces,” he said.
Cde Wadyajena’s remarks come amid concern that about 92 percent of the youths that accessed loans from Government under the Kurera/Ukondla Youth Fund to start small businesses were failing to pay back the money. He said among other related issues his committee was to focus on was raising awareness on HIV and HIV-related diseases.
Cde Wadyajena said for the country not to reverse gains made in the fight against HIV, every youth was supposed to know his HIV status. Community leaders present at the constituency sensitisation meetings said MPs should do more outreach programmes in their constituencies to brief them of bills being debated before they are passed into law.
They said as chiefs who represented the wishes of the people they should have a say. Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust executive director Mr John Makamure spearheaded the meeting by educating the chiefs on the Constitution and roles of legislators. “We urge all members of Parliament to hold constituency sensitisation meetings with community leaders to report back the proceedings in Parliament,” he said.
“Community leaders will have knowledge of the proceedings in Parliament as well as get updates of their constituency progress.” Addressing close to 200 graduating youths who went through an Integrated Skills Outreach Programme (ISOP) later in the day, Cde Wadyajena urged the youths to be disciplined.
He said youths in Gokwe and across the country should refrain from tarnishing the First Lady’s name and follow the course of the ruling party. “We should respect party leaders. People are abusing the First Lady’s name by spreading falsehoods on what she has not said, we do not tolerate that,” he said.
“The First Lady and President Mugabe’s deputies are in good books she has said it herself so why spread fabricated stories?” he asked.