A group of beneficiaries of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) loan scheme besieged the Zambia National Credit and Savings Bank (NATSAVE) in Nchelenge this morning demanding to be paid cash.
ZANIS reports from Nchelenge that the beneficiaries wondered why the contractor in the fish farming project allocated to the district has been given a permanent position in the project.
The development follows the approval and partial release of over three million kwacha by government through the CEEC for poverty reduction programmes in Nchelenge district.
The CEEC has revised the loan disbursement conditions in which funds will only be paid directly to a contractor or supplier of a project and not the loan applicants to avoid abuse of the funds as experienced previously.
Nchelenge District Administrative Officer Gift Hajongola confirmed the development in an interview with ZANIS in Nchelenge today.
Mr Hajongola said the PF government is committed to fighting poverty especially among the rural people.
He said over K641,000.00 of the funds has since been credited to seven beneficiary accounts.
He disclosed that the CEEC has devised a standard implementation plan where the bank will only pay the money to the contractor or the supplier upon certification for the service by the fisheries authorities.
Mr Hajongola said he was aware that some beneficiary groups are demanding for cash and were planning to confront the bank manager at the Zambia National Credit and Savings Bank (NATSAVE) over releasing the funds.
He observed that people would deliberately want to abrogate the financial management regulations that govern the disbursement of funds in order to access cash but advised them to heed expert advice.
The DAO said the government is very serious about poverty reduction and will not condone individuals who are bent on frustrating its efforts aimed at improving the lives of the masses that were currently wallowing in poverty.
He said the bank has just been entrusted with the task of ensuring that the money is used for the intended purpose adding that if people were aggrieved the government was there to address their concerns.
He further said the CEEC has put some monitoring measures in place to avoid misappropriation and pilferage of the resources as was the case during the MMD regime.
Mr. Hajongola said the money will only be paid to activities to avoid abuse and warned that those who will not comply will not access that the money.
Meanwhile, Nchelenge NATSAVE Branch manager Elvis Chimbinga explained that none of the beneficiary farmers will have direct access to the money to avoid abuse.
Mr. Chimbinga said the money will only be paid direct to the contractor or supplier and urged the farmers to understand the implementation measures that have been put in place or risk losing out completely.
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