COMMERCE Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe has said there is nothing sinister on the loan her company obtained from the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) more than five years ago.
Ms Mwanakatwe said it was petty for individuals to be preoccupied with talk about the loan to Aluworks Industries Limited which was obtained way before she became a minister.
She was responding to allegations by Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali who told journalists yesterday that the minister should not have obtained the K1.5 million loan.
“First and foremost, it is important to realise that CEEC is for all Zambian citizens – rich or poor. It is there to empower Zambian citizens to help them be part of the economic transformation.
“Secondly, there is nothing to personalise or publicise. I didn’t obtain this loan as an individual, it is the company with a commitment to pay back, so whether there are some challenges or some delays, the fact is the company will pay back,” she said.
Ms Mwanakatwe wondered how the loan had become an issue to be discussed in public when the relationship between the lender and the borrower was always confidential.
She said she was not excluded from obtaining a loan from the CEEC, especially that the debt was acquired when she was neither in Government nor in the country.
Ms Mwanakatwe said entrepreneurs who sought empowerment from CEEC to contribute to the country’s economic development through investment and job creation should not be blocked.
Ms Mwanakatwe’s firm, Aluworks Industries Zambia Limited, obtained a loan from the commission more than five years ago.
Times of Zambia