Councillor ‘steals’ Pfumvudza inputs

BULILIMA Rural District Council (RDC) chairman and councillor for Ward 10 in Bambadzi, Zoolakes Nyathi is in the eye of a storm as he is allegedly charging villagers for the transportation of inputs under the Climate-Proofed Presidential Inputs Programme, commonly known as Intwasa/Pfumvudza.

The transport fee is from the Plumtree Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot to his ward. The move is in contrary to Government’s directive that it will be meeting transport costs. Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Douglas Karoro indicated that the Government was meeting the costs of transporting inputs under Pfumvudza.

In a telephone interview, Bulilima District Agritex officer Mr Peter Masoja confirmed the allegations that Clr Nyathi was reportedly charging villagers for transportation costs. He said the councillor acted unlawfully as he also moved the inputs from the storage area at GMB in Plumtree to the ward at his shop in the absence of an Agritex officer.

Inputs received for Ward 10 were 175x 5kg maize seed Sc513; 175x 5kg maize seed Sc 301; 350 x 50kg fertilizer comp D; 8x 60kg lime while inputs distributed are; 232x5kg maize seed, 204x 50kg Comp D, 2x60kg lime whereas in stock currently there is; 111x 5kg maize seed, 87x 50k Comp D; 6 x60kg lime with the shortfall being; 7x5kg maize seed and 59 x 50kg Comp D.

“When I phoned the councillor he admitted that he loaded inputs and ferried them to their next distribution point Jutshume in an effort to assist the community. On his way to Jutshume according to him he received a death message in the family.

“In a hurry he went and dumped the inputs at his homestead hoping to continue with taking the inputs to their destination after attending the funeral. The councillor was not supposed to carry the inputs in the absence of the extension worker and members of the ward distribution committee,” he said.

A villager from Mbimba who spoke to this news crew on condition of anonymity said there were asked to pay R50 for the transportation of the inputs.

Contacted for comment, Clr Nyathi acknowledged that the villagers were charged for the transportation of the inputs.

“What we do is that for every food aid transportation we sit down with associations of the beneficiaries and peg the prices to be paid by the villagers. Usually we peg as per 50 kilometres which is usually at R10 for the transportation of the inputs if I remember correctly it was around R30 as we used a gonyeti (haulage truck) collectively with other people,” he said.

Asked if he was aware that the transportation of the Presidential Inputs was supposed to be done for free, he terminated the phone call and repeated efforts to contact him were fruitless. – Sunday News

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