Opposition challenged over empowerment fund


RESPONSIBLE and caring politicians should not take violence into the markets but should find ways of empowering vendors and marketeers like the Patriotic Front (PF) government is doing through the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund which aims at growing the businesses of marketeers, Association of Vendors, Traders and Marketeers of Zambia (AVTMZ) president Fredrick Tembo has said.

Mr Tembo said politicians who boast about having a lot of money but could not share it with vulnerable marketeers and vendors cannot be trusted that they would look after the welfare of marketeers if voted into government.

He said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that politicians who claimed to have money should prove that they had the heart for the people by helping out the vulnerable in society.

“If you have the heart for the people, you should not wait to be elected to the position of republican President for you to start helping the vulnerable in society. You should be able to set a good example of helping the needy in society.

“It is surprising that some people aspiring for republican presidency claim to have a lot of money, but have never done a single thing even in their home village; even a small project for women empowerment. So we are left to wonder what kind of a president they could be.

“As marketeers, we need responsible and caring politicians who will find ways of empowering vendors and marketeers like the Patriotic Front (PF) government is doing through the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund which aims at growing the business of marketeers. Not politicians to bring mayhem in markets. No,” Mr  Tembo said

And association general secretary Kelvin Kahilu said politicians should not politicise the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund because its motive was aimed at empowering marketeers, traders and vendors regardless of their political, religious and tribal affiliations.

He said  instead of criticising and politicising the fund, opposition politicians should also find ways of supplementing the good works of the PF government.

“Genuine opposition leaders should give credit where it is due, instead of criticising everything which the ruling party has done. Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund is a good initiative which is helping marketeers who cannot afford to get a loan from a bank or any money lending institutions.

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