NOW PF DANCERS REPORTED TO DEC
By Hannock Kasama:
The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission -CEEC- has engaged the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) to investigate the diversion of the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loans by some beneficiaries.
Public Relations and Communication Manager MICHELO MUKATA says preliminary investigations have revealed that some beneficiaries are allegedly conniving with suppliers to obtain cash instead of buying pieces of equipment.
Mr. MICHELO has disclosed this in an interview with ZNBC News in LUSAKA.
He urged the beneficiaries of the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loans to ensure the facility is not abused for them to be economically empowered.
In 2020, the CEEC released over 27 million KWACHA to 1-hundred and 52 projects under the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loan Facility.
This was after the CEEC forged a Partnership with the National Arts Council -NAC – to disburse and manage the Presidential Arts Empowerment Loans.
To-date the CEEC has disbursed over eight million KWACHA to 54 artists.
The commission has further partially released over 15 million KWACHA to 85 artists.
One Hundred fifty two artists in various categories have been empowered from the 30-Million Kwacha Presidential Arts Development and Empowerment Scheme.
This is from over one thousand Artists that had applied for the funds.
Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela who presented the cheques at a ceremony in Lusaka today urged those that have not received, not to give up applying for funds.
Mr. Chitotela stated that the funding from President Edgar Lungu comes at the right time when Artists have been affected by the effects of Covid-19.
He said Government is willing to increase the revolving fund as long as Artists are able to pay back and utilise the fund prudently.
And Gender Minister Elizabeth Phiri said the gesture demonstrates that Government will not leave anyone behind.
National Arts Council Chairperson Patrick Samwimbila has thanked President Lungu for empowering Artists.
Meanwhile, Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission Director General Likando Mukumbuta said artists that have been paid today will be assisted with business ideas.
Among the Artists that received the funds are the Amayenge band, Burning Youth, Bob Nkosha, Mbaka Elizabeth Gospel band from Mwinilunga district in Northwestern province and Good Life Investments under Mulaza KAIRA, popularly known as Macky II.
Meanwhile, Tourism and Arts Minister Ronald Chitotela has visited the burnt studio for Musician Shadrick Mumba, also known as Mumba Yachi and donated 10 -thousand Kwacha towards the reconstruction of the studio.
Mumba Yachi told the Minister that he has lost recording equipment and music products worth 300,000 Kwacha.