Former PF Lusaka provincial youth chairman Kennedy Kamba, whom other party youths accuse of having squandered proceeds from the Higer bus loan, says it is in the best interest of the nation for government to names the people who benefited from the 25 buses that were given under the youth empowerment programme.
Last week, Youth and Sports Minister Moses Mawere announced the withdrawal of the buses from the Public and Private Drivers’ Association of Zambia (PPDAZ) on grounds that the vehicles were not benefiting the intended beneficiaries.
“They are faced with a number of challenges, and one of them includes the non-repayment of these empowerment programmes because most of these are loans given to the youths. So on a sad note, we have just retrieved the buses from the Public Private Drivers’ Association of Zambia (PPDAZ) whom we had given 25 buses to give to the youths. What we have observed is that the youths, who were supposed to benefit from these buses did not benefit. And also the repayment rate was not being met on time and we are seeing that this Association has defaulted heavily,” Mawere told ZNBC last Tuesday.
In the face of the PF intra-party elections in Lusaka, the ruling party youths have been pointing fingers at Kamba who is seeking re-election, as the culprit.
But in an interview with News Diggers! Kamba said this is the best opportunity for the line Ministry to come out in the open and publicise the names of those who benefited from the project so that it could clear his name.
Kamba argued that the tendency of hiding names of people found on the wrong side of the law was not taking the country anywhere.
“It is a good move, which the government has made to withdraw all the buses which were meant for youth empowerment, [but] I equally have got a complaint against the beneficiaries. I would like to know, as the former youth chairman of Lusaka Province, let the Ministry of Youths tell us who were those beneficiaries of the buses? Let them be mentioned. If it’s their companies or their names so that the people of Lusaka Province and the people of Zambia know that these youths were given buses and they failed to run [them]. Secondly, we want to know what has led to the withdrawal of the buses [because] even I don’t know, but [what] they are saying is [that the project] has not been serving the intended purpose. Has the money been remitted to the rightful owners of the buses and were the loans serviced? Those are some of the questions that as youths of Lusaka would want to know,” Kamba said, distancing himself from the abuse.
He also questioned how the said buses found themselves under the custody of PPDAZ in the first place.
“We know that that project was for the government and not for the party, but as the party in government, we also have got interest to know the people who benefited, who have failed to run the buses because we have got a lot of youths on the streets, and if you have been given an opportunity by the government, [and] you have been empowered by the government, I see no reason why you should fail to run the transport business. And also the issue of the Bus Drivers’ Association; how did they involve themselves in the issue to do with the buses? Those are some of the things [which] the youths of Lusaka want to know?” said Kamba.
“There was a lot of speculations that ‘Kamba has benefited from the same buses, Kamba has done that’, but this is the opportunity now [for] the Ministry of Youth and the Higer Bus company to come out in the open and publish the names of the people who have benefited, especially here in Lusaka Province so that some of us can be cleared.”
But PPDAZ president Josiah Majuru declined to comment for a reaction when contacted.