THE empowerment of varketeers and vendors under the Presidential Empowerment Initiative Fund (PEIF) resumed its activities in Kitwe yesterday when it gave more than 20 marketeers at Chamboli market K500 each.
The marketeers, most of whom sell okra, dry maize, groundnuts, vegetables, chikanda, wild fruits and others normally use capital of less than K150.
But yesterday, the more than 20 marketeers breathed a sigh of relief when they received a shot in the arm after the PEIF gave them K500 each to boost their businesses.
Patron of marketeers and vendors Chanda Kabwe said the PEIF had continued to empower marketeers even after the August 11 elections because it was non-political and would continue to help old and vulnerable marketeers to boost their businesses.
Mr Kabwe, who is Kitwe district commissioner, said the PEIF was an initiative of President Edgar Lungu who wanted to see that marketeers, especially those who were struggling to earn a living, were helped to improve their businesses and become self-sustaining.
“Some politicians were saying the PEIF was a campaign tool for the PF, but we have come back to empower marketeers even now when the campaigns and the elections are over. This is an indication that the initiative is aimed at solely empowering the marketeers to boost their businesses.
“The PEIF is not a campaign tool for PF, but it is an initiative of President Lungu to support marketeers. The beneficiaries of these funds are members of various political parties like UPND, PF, FDD, MMD and others. So how does it become political?” Mr Kabwe said.
One of the beneficiaries 73-year-old Elizabeth Daka said she was grateful for the initiative by President Lungu.
“I have received the money from President Lungu and I am so grateful because this money will go a long way in improving my business. I sell okra, dried maize, groundnuts and vegetables which are less than K200. So with this K500, it will boost my business,” she said.