210 Marketeers Funded In Kitwe.
THE Presidential Marketeers Empower me t Fund yesterday handed over K105,000 to 210 marketeers at Buchi- Kamitondo Market in Kitwe.
In an interview in Kitwe yesterday, the fund’s national patron Chanda Kabwe said the fund is impacting positively on the lives of many market traders because it is reducing household poverty.
Mr Kabwe said although the amount of money given out appears little, it is helping the beneficiaries increase the merchandise they trade in, which is increasing their income.
He said the initiative is helping the beneficiaries to solve many issues at individual and household levels.
Mr Kabwe dispelled allegations that the fund is political and unsustainable beyond next month’s general elections.
“ This is a non- partisan exercise.
We have many people that belong to different political parties in this market but they are benefitting.
We also have people who do not even vote but they are benefitting.
So, it is not political and moreover people are old enough to decide who they will vote for,” he said.
Mr Kabwe said those opposed to the empowerment programme are enemies of the poor and do not want to see other people make economic progress.
He said so far about 9,000 marketeers from across the country have benefitted from the initiative and that about K7 million cash had been disbursed, while another K3 million has been spent on procuring tools such as wheel barrows and bicycles.
The Presidential Marketeer Empowerment Fund initiative is aimed at empowering small- scale traders with soft loans aimed at boosting their businesses.
Mr Kabwe said so far, most beneficiaries of the fund have been paying back the loans but that traders at Chisokone market have defaulted.
He said at least 400 traders at the market had been given K2,000 cash loans each but have not paid back because some opposition politicians were allegedly inciting them not to do so.
He said the defaulters would be engaged to comply with the loan conditions failure to which their names would be published in the media.
And the beneficiaries spoken to are grateful to President Lungu for the fund.
Sixty five- year- old Godfrida Mulenga, who received K500, said the loan will help her buy more merchandise for her stand and earn more revenue from her small business.