Lusaka Province Minister, Sheal Mulyata has warned of stern action against public service workers frustrating the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in Rufunsa district.
Mrs Mulyata who on Monday toured the district said that she had received reports of some farmers who made their deposits to access inputs but have been left out from the list of beneficiaries.
She said this when she met government Heads of Departments that government will not tolerate acts of corruption in the distribution of inputs to vulnerable farmers.
The Lusaka Province Minister also noted that there have been exaggerated costs of drilling of boreholes and told those charged with the responsibility of collecting quotations for government procurement to be sincere and honest.
“We have seen situations where a borehole costing K20, 000 is quoted at K60, 000. That should stop. We are watching you,”she threatened.
She stated that the officer should deliver correct quotations and the right quantities of goods to be purchased which she said should be delivered in good time.
“We have had incidences where people have paid for have boreholes drilled but three years down the lines, that has not been done. Who explain this? It’s happening in this council. The people are complaining and we are pretending everything is ok.” She stated
Mrs Mulyata said those affected each paid K1, 500 for the boreholes but that there’s no water in the villages.
She however stated that government is committed to address the developmental challenges of the people in the district stating that public services workers should be ethical in their conduct to implement developmental projects under their charge.
Government has exceeded the maize purchase target by over 40,000 bags in Rufunsa district.
And acting District Commissioner Lunkuntwe Musonda says the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) bought 99,518 against a target of 40,000 by 50 kilogram bags as at October 1.
Mr Musonda said buyers from the FRA also carried out mobile purchases stating that the agency was overwhelmed with the response.
He said that district has 15 deports where the purchase of maize is ongoing but however noted that some deports have not yet received grain bags.
The acting District Commissioner also announced that 9,625 out of a 11,880 on authority to deposit monies under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) have already cashed and are waiting to access their inputs.
Mr Musonda said that seed managers have stocked the required seed and fertilizer and that transporters, have already been selected in readiness for the exercise.
“We are just waiting for the flagging off of the exercise so that distribution of the inputs can be done,” he said.
He stated that 25,680 in the district are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, council chairperson Kennedy Mailoni complained that despite being declared a district in 2012, Rufunsa has continued to lag behind in terms of development.
Mr Mailoni said the construction of a post office; housing units for civil servants have stalled for over three years.
He also stated that though the construction of a civic centre has advanced, the local authority does not have the capacity to complete the construction works.
“We also don’t have adequate transport as we depend on one vehicle for all the operations of the council,” he said.
Mr Mailoni also appealed to government to procure equipment to enable the local authority carryout road maintenance works.