——-A businessman in Mpulungu has observed that many people might find difficulties filling in the Citizens Economic Empowerment (CEEC) application forms because of their complexity.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS, Michael Sikazwe expressed fear that many eligible citizens may lose out in accessing the K3 billion the CEEC wanted to spend in Mpulungu, saying the application forms were too cumbersome, complicated and too involving for a layman.
Mr Sikazwe has appealed to the CEEC to engage technocrats to help citizens in filling in the forms to enable as many people as possible to apply for the money.
The CEEC has planned to disburse over K3 billion to eligible ordinary citizens for engagement in entrepreneurship activities in the fishing industry in Mpulungu district in Northern Province.
CEEC Director General, Likando Mukumbuta, revealed recently that the Commission had mobilized about K100 billion to be spent in 30 districts countrywide, adding that in Northern Province, Mpulungu, Mungwi and Kasama were the districts the Commission was targeting for funding in 2013.
Mr Mukumbuta stated that in Mpulungu, the Commission will only grant business loans to entrepreneurs who wanted to venture into the fishing business while Kasama and Mungwi district will be supported in growing soya beans and groundnuts respectively.
He encouraged the youth, women and the disabled not to be left out but to equally apply for the funds.
But Mr Sikazwe said with less than a week before the deadline for receiving applications, Mpulungu District Council had not yet received any application from a resident.
He said this was a clear indication that people were having difficulties with the forms.
‘’Because of the illiteracy levels, many people are finding difficulties in understanding the contents of theCEEC application form, ‘’ said Mr Sikazwe.
He suggested that if the CEEC programme was pro-poor, the Commission must devise ways of helping citizens so as to capture as many people as possible otherwise the money would be sent back to the treasury.
According to the Commission, the business loans to be disbursed in the value chain based clusters will range from K50 million to K500 million.