Kwale Youth and Empowerment Center Manager Solomon Kasoa said most Kwale youth groups do not repay the money loaned to them through Affirmative Action Funds (AAF).
AAF was formed under the Public Finance Management Act, 2012 mainly meant to empower socio-economically Women, Youth, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly at the grassroots level.
The officer blamed incitement by section of local politicians whom he said advise the beneficiaries to disappear with loans acquired.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting, Kasoa underscored the need to repay the loans in a timely prudent manner to ensure the sustainability of the funds.
He said it was commendable that the number of youths applying for the empowerment loans has increased with many making inquiries about the fund but repayment rate was discouraging.
“Some young people will come asking for loans after a while when they are supposed to make the repayment they say some local leaders have advised them not to pay,” said Kasoa.
He said such behavior does not augur well for the entire process of loan issuing since money is not repaid on time.
Kasoa said the government is determined to ensure that marginalized groups in the society access opportunities that will enable them to realize their full potential.
He said many youth mistake the empowerment funds for actual help and end up waiting for everything to be done for them without breaking a sweat.
“The problem is that you want to be assisted to succeed all through your lives and that cannot happen not unless you develop inner motivation and desire to succeed yourselves,” he said while addressing a group of boda boda riders.
He added, “You should strive to repay the loans so that the money benefits other youth groups”.
Kasoa said majority of people would misuse the loans meant to give support and squander all the money on basic needs such as food without initiating any projects.
He said youths should find and re-strategize their priorities for them to lead positive and prosperous lives.
The Youth Empowerment Centre Manager told them to value time and utilizes every minute of their lives profitably.
“If you want to become a responsible person stop spending your day sitting idle in those groups at stages and use the time for something beneficial,” said Kasoa.
He advised young people to shun drug and substance abuse saying they are the key to poverty and urged them instead to embrace entrepreneurship to economically empower themselves.
By Hussein Abdullahi