Some senior Ministry of agriculture and Bank ABC officials have stolen money that was deposited into the bank and are fraudulently swiping some farmers’ cards to cover the tracks.
Most of the agro dealers who have been presenting the cards to the bank have discovered discrepancies in the system where the card shows that it has already been redeemed thereby stealing the money deposited by the farmer and government under the Farmer Input Support Programme.
The scandal is rife mostly in rural districts of Central Province and other areas where there is poor network and Bank ABC, which has more of the agency, is the conduit being used by the thieving civil servants.
A source close to the bank said that agriculture minister Dora Siliya is aware of the scandal but cannot do anything because she’s party to it.
“Zanaco and Barclays Bank do not have much of these problems but Bank ABC is the conduit being used. Most agro dealers and farmers have lost out. After depositing, he goes to redeem but fails and he’s told that the card has already been redeemed. Where the dealer takes chances, he also loses out,” said the source.
The scandal will result in majority of the farmers who didn’t get inputs in the 2016/2017 farming season stand out to lose completely.
The government closed the depositing of farmers contributions on 19th January 2018 and farmers who did not deposit their contributions by that date will not benefit from the inputs that are already late by over 3 months.
Famers in most parts of Lusaka rural are yet to receive their inputs as the E-vouchers are not yet loaded with money and activated.
Disputed President Edgar Lungu yesterday claimed that the E-voucher programme is being sabotaged by people who want to continue stealing from the programme.