Zambia: Pay back CEEC loans
By STEVEN MVULA
NORTH-WESTERN Province permanent secretary Eustern Mambwe has appealled to people in the province who got loans from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) to start paying back so that others can also benefit.
Dr Mambwe was speaking on Friday when he handed over cheques totalling to K500 million to 16 entrepreneurs drawn from across North-Western Province in a first ever approval by the provincial empowerment committee (PEC).
He said CEEC has been facing difficulties in the past to recover money from beneficiaries in the province.
“This is not charitable money. It’s small loans to empower you and it’s a revolving fund to help others when you pay back,” Dr Mambwe, who is also the chairperson of PEC, said.
He said despite the commission giving a grace period, beneficiaries still defaulted.
“We have depicted a very bad picture as a province by not paying back as per agreement,” Dr Mambwe said.
He said the CEEC programme is a well meaning scheme which some people are now abusing.
“Government wants every Zambian to contribute to the growth of the economy of this country but you the people are letting it down by not paying back the revolving loan,” Dr Mambwe said.
He said government wants equitable distribution of wealth in every part of the country.
“All amounts up to K 50 million will now be approved at provincial level, so please those of you who have benefitted today, pay back when your grace period expires,” Dr Mambwe said.
Dr Mambwe said the CEEC programme is a sincere scheme aimed at uplifting the living standards of people who are mostly not in gainful employment.
He said government will support entrepreneurs who pay back their loans.
CEEC has given out over K8 billion to entrepreneurs but most of them are delaying to pay back.
And speaking on behalf of other beneficiaries, Jesse Mbimbi of Mwinilunga praised Government for the CEEC programme.
Ms Mbimbi, who received K40 million from CEEC, said government has clearly demonstrated that it cares for its people.
“We pray that God blesses this government for what it is doing to us,” she said.