By Wilson Mulinda:

Government is disappointed that only 11 of the 1-hundred and 56 Constituencies are utilizing grants meant for women, youths and persons with disabilities under the Constituency Development Funds -CDF-.

Community Development Minister DOREEN MWAMBA says getting reports of non utilization of funds despite having been released is unacceptable.

She says the move should not be blamed on government but mindset change that needs to be worked on as people need to own the process.

The Minister says the bulk of the vulnerable are getting grants which are easy to access and only a few people are trying to access loans.

Speaking during a joint Press Briefing with other Ministers in Lusaka today, Ms. MWAMBA urged Parliamentarians to help identify people who qualify for grants as monies have already been disbursed in constituencies.

And Local Government and Rural Development Minister GARY NKOMBO revealed that government has started working on addressing challenges affecting access of CDF by beneficiaries.

Mr. NKOMBO said this follows concerns raised on the slow pace of disbursement of the loans component of the CDF.

He said his Ministry has also partnered with the Ministry of Finance to engage various financial institutions to work with Government in the disbursement of the loans.

The Minister said the interested financial institutions were requested to submit bids by last week Friday.

He said Members of Parliament expressed discomfort in letting local authorities manage the loans as it would be a risk in recovering the funds from the beneficiaries, hence the need to engage financial institutions.

Mr. NKOMBO said his Ministry has also developed sensitization materials to be disseminated through various platforms to enhance knowledge on CDF opportunities and procedures by the public.

Meanwhile, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister ELIAS MUBANGA said his Ministry has made headway in registering Cooperatives

Mr. MUBANGA said the number of Cooperatives taking advantage of the online registration is encouraging.

And Youth, Sports and Arts Minister ELVIS NKANDU urged the youths in the country not to fall for rumours that the CDF programme is a hoax.




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