Editors Note: An earlier version of this article referred to Mr. Ryan Mpofu as a member of Bulawayo Zanu-PF province. This was in error and it has since been corrected below. The article also made reference to abuses of COVID19 funds in the country and by implication, erroneously related them to Mr. Mpofu’s comments. The references have been removed. We apologise to Mr. Mpofu for the errors who contacted us for correction. He said that there’s currently no Zanu-PF province in Bulawayo due to a restructuring exercise.
The Zanu PF Youth league vice-chairman of Mqamulazwe district in Matabeleland, Ryan Mpofu has insinuated that the $17 million COVID-19 relief fund the government disbursed to cushion youths affected by the coronavirus lockdown has been converted into loans.
Mpofu who is the youth league vice-chairman for Bulawayo’s Mqamulazwe district complained over the terms and conditions set for one to access the funds. Speaking to NewsDay, he said:
Being Zanu PF does not mean I have to agree with something that is wrong. One should have a conscience and do the right thing.
The relief fund is for youths and is non-partisan. But what is happening is that there are stringent conditions that have been put for one to access the funds.
This has happened before when people were promised projects and money but the question is how many people got the projects. Now they are wasting the little resources we have in travelling and printing and at the end of the day, we receive nothing.
Who keeps a sales record while operating an informal business? There is absolutely no reason to have these records when operating an informal business, why are they asking for it? Even an EcoCash statement? Mostly, when we sell, we want cash, so why an EcoCash statement?
A lot of businesses are closed and the youth usually do informal trading and their businesses are small and not recognised, but that is how they earn a living.
It is becoming very difficult for the youths, hence the relief fund so that they have something to put on the table. It’s a fund, not a loan. There is no need for so-called business documents.
It doesn’t make sense. This defeats the purpose of the fund