Ministry of Agriculture Permanent secretary Julius Shawa and Coillard Hamusimbi who is the head of member services – Agri business at the scandal rocked Zambia National Farmers Union – ZNFU are the two latest officials named in the scandal where huge amounts of money are being stolen using Export Trading Group – ETG, a Kenyan fertiliser supplier.
There has been erratic funding of money to pay the agro dealers under the Farmer Input Supply Programme – FISP but whenever the funds are available, Shawa connives with Hamusimbi to channel the funds to ETG leaving out many other agro dealers and farmers stranded.
After the expose of the scam by this publication, and under the influence of agriculture minister Dora Siliya some funds were paid to Eastern province based agro dealers but Central province with a total of over 10,000 uncleared farmers remain unpaid among others. The move has made farmers to live in fear as the agro dealers have threatened to grab their farm produce in order that they recover their money.
According to the details of the scam, Shawa presses for money to be released by government and when the money is released, it is channelled to some fake accounts operated by ETG and the spoils later shared. From the same corruption, Hamusimbi is said to be building a mansion in Chalala area in Lusaka.
Meanwhile the government, while still owing farmers and some e-voucher agro dealers for the 2015/2016 farming season, government has now started demanding that they once again pay some more subscription fees for the 2017/2018 season. This is according to a circular sent to farmer groups and also availed to ZNFU.