DISGRANTLED politicians who were disparaging the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund (PEIF) before the 2016 elections will soon be ashamed when the programme continues to churn out good products, National Marketeers and Traders Association of Zambia (NATMAZ) general secretary Mwila Mufonka has said.
And fund manager Joseph Chilinda has said the fund was re-designing the empowerment product in order to reach maximum optimisation of the empowerment project.
Mr Mufonka said critics of President Edgar Lungu and those who thought the PEIF was a campaign tool for the Patriotic Front (PF) would soon be proved wrong when the initiative continues to empower people in various ways.
Mr Mufonka said in an interview in Kitwe yesterday that marketeers were grateful that President Lungu had come up with such an initiative to empower them, including vendors and even people with disabilities.
“The PEIF initiative is a genuine programme meant for the poor marketers and those who were saying bad things about it will soon be proved wrong as it will continue after elections. Some disgruntled people were saying it was a campaign tool of the PF, but it has continued. What can they say now?
“As marketeers, we are so grateful to President Lungu for this initiative. It will go a long way to help marketeers and vendors,” Mr Mufonka said.
And Mr Mufonka has advised marketeers who have received the funds to pay back so that other marketeers who were yet to receive could benefit from the empowerment fund.
He said the marketeers who had received the funds, but had not paid back were making it difficult to empower other citizens.
“These loans are revolving funds where if one receives the money, he or she has to pay back so that others can also receive but if you are not paying back then, it will be difficult for others to be given the loans,” he said.