GRZ Through P.E.I. Fund Gives K8 Million To Marketeers.
THE Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund has so far disbursed K8 million to 6, 850 marketeers and vendors since the programme was launched last year.
Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund national patron Chanda Kabwe said he is happy that the revolving empowerment fund has received overwhelming response from marketeers and vendors.
He said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that it is sad that some opposition political leaders speak ill of the empowerment programme, which is targeted at vulnerable marketeers countrywide.
“ Critics of the Presidential Empowerment Fund for marketeers and vendors will be proved wrong because the initiative is yielding desirable fruits and so far a number of marketeers have accessed the funds, which have helped them boost their capital base.
“ A good number of marketeers have started benefiting from the initiative and it is just a matter of time before the critics of the initiative are proved wrong,” Mr Kabwe said.
He said the opposition should understand that the empowerment fund is a vehicle for improving living standards of millions of poor marketeers and vendors in the country.
Mr Kabwe urged marketeers to take advantage of President Lungu’s goodwill and apply for the funds under the presidential initiative empowerment programme.
Mr Kabwe said President Lungu decided to come up with the initiative to help marketeers grow their businesses because he is not greedy and selfish like some opposition leaders who boast about having a lot of money but cannot help the poor.
He said President Lungu, through the Presidential Empowerment Fund, is helping marketeers and vendors grow their businesses because he wants to share even the little for everyone to benefit.
Mr Kabwe said his office has empowered some marketeers in some districts in Western, Eastern, Muchinga, Northern, Luapula and parts of the Copperbelt Province.
He, however, urged the vendors and marketeers to pay back the money as it is a revolving fund aimed at empowering traders across the country.
Mr Kabwe said traders need to understand that the money is meant to empower all traders and not intended for a few individuals.
He said genuine traders should access the fund and pay back to allow others to be empowered.
Mr Kabwe said successive governments have for a long time overlooked marketeers and vendors when they are the people sustaining millions of lives in the country.
He explained that the fund is aimed at boosting businesses in Zambian markets as well as on the streets.
Mr Kabwe advised opposition political parties against politicising the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund for marketeers and vendors.
He said President Lungu means well for traders in the informal sector hence his decision to come up with the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund.