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Alba Iulia
Friday, January 14, 2022

George Mpombo calls for the bringing to book of what he described as fertilizer crooks

General News George Mpombo calls for the bringing to book of what he described...

THERE has been a well-orchestrated ripping of government through the supply of low quality and underweight bags of fertilisers which must be nipped into the bud, says George Mpombo.

Mpombo says “Tamanga or flyby night companies must not be entertained as part of the process to phase out costly drain pipes.

The Mast lead story of Monday, January 10, revealed that part of the fertiliser supplied to the government by various sources was of low quality and underweight.

Government sources revealed that upon being subjected to tests by the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), part of the consignment was found to be of low quality.

“These fertilisers were meant for various parts of the country, but the most affected was that going to Southern Province. In fact, even the quantities were discovered to be underweight. So the government asked these suppliers to replace the fertilisers,” the sources told The Mast.

But Mpombo, a former defense minister under the Levy Mwanawasa MMD administration, said the matter needed to be thoroughly investigated in order to bring the crooks to book.

“There has been a well-orchestrated syndicate ripping off the government through supplying low quality and underweight bags of fertilizers. The scum must be nipped in the bud before government loses huge sums of money,” he said.

Mpombo, who once served as Kafulafuta member of parliament, noted that: “these criminal activities are a serious threat to national food security as crop yield is highly compromised.”

He added that the “unsuspecting peasant farmer despite his hard work is robbed of the fruits of his labour”.

Mpombo advised the UPND government to ensure specifications of the fertilizers are confirmed before receipt and distribution.

“There is need to float the tender process openly so that transparency and accountability is attained to ensure credible suppliers with strong track record are picked,” he said.

He added that the supplier must have the capacity and integrity to rectify any shortcomings in the supply chain.

“Tamanga (run) or flyby the night companies must not be entertained as part of the process to phase out costly drain pipes,” said Mpombo.

According to the Mast, when contacted, agriculture minister Reuben Mtolo Phiri confirmed the fact the fertiliser supplied was of low quality and underweight that and said the government had since informed the suppliers and asked them to replace the commodity.

“No one has refused. How can they refuse because we did the test, isn’t it? So, all we’re doing is we sample here and there and when we find that the fertiliser is not good enough, we ask them to replace it. Yea, we have gotten those reports and our men are on it.

“Yes, we’ve gotten those reports. I can confirm and our men are on it,” said Mtolo.

“…Yes, but you know what, let me say something to you. Some of these stories might look very sensational but the effects they have on the economy can be very, very devastating.

“So, be very careful the way you write this story. We are on top of things. Every corner where we are receiving a problem, we are making sure that the fertiliser is being replaced. Depending on how you write it, it can become a very difficult situation. Even farmers who have received good fertiliser will start saying we have bad fertiliser.

“This is where responsibility and patriotism could come in. Whoever is giving you this information, be very, very careful because we could end up into a lot of complicated situations.

“This is what I have to say to you, The Mast. It’s a very sensational story for you. But depending on what you write you could create a very, very unnecessary problem. You’re calling me for the second time, it means you are very pleased with what you’re doing. And I can just caution you that be very careful. Be extremely careful.

“The reason I’m saying that, is this; you could be given this information by a group of people who think they themselves could not get involved. Now, we are busy checking the stock, alright! We’re busy checking the stock to make sure everywhere we have got good quality fertiliser being given to our people.”

SOURCE: The Mast

14 COMMENTS

  1. It is like the cheaper source of fertilizer, as compared to that supplied during PF’s time, that Bally talked about whilst in opposition is the underweight and poor quality fertilizer being supplied by husband to one of his Ministers. Cheap is expensive bane.

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  2. I am not UPND but I know that UPND have very qualified and experienced agriculture supervisors who are better placed to advise the government than PF cadre Mpombo. We don’t want confusion with everybody wanting to be an expert.

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  3. Why are we not bringing Edgar China Lungu to book? Just the THEFT of four farms in Kanakantapa – run by his thieving son – should be more than enough to get him in Central Prison in Lusaka for the rest of his life.

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  4. The minister is paranoid and misplacing blame. First and foremost the people
    who should be careful is;

    1. The supplier and
    2. The minister himself

    Is it the media that supplied the low quality fertilizer, secondly why was the ministry trying to hash hash the story?

  5. #5 in such a short summary you have said a million facts about this scandal. Five long years before we see the Lusambo saga on some of these chaps.

  6. The nerve of this guy telling those doing the right thing to be careful. Bembas say chimbwi kulila, pali uko ashintile itako. You should not only make those crooks replace the bags but also remove them from the fertilizer distribution list.
    And some bloggers think UPND is clean despite so many examples in under 5 months in power.

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  7. Mpombo was quite when PF was grounding the economy, surprising that suddenly he is awake now. Any way lets respect his misplaced democratic right

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  8. In fact this FISP should be scrapped altogether. That’s when the realistic price of maize will be known. Farmers will be happy to get a good price. They will have no restriction where to sell unlike today whereby they are told to sell to FRA only because they got inputs from fish. And all these scams or fertilizer deals will come to an end.

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  9. #11 Razor. No one is forced to sell to FRA. I have been on FISP myself and I sell to whoever I choose. Let’s not mislead people. The only reason people sell to FRA is because they are closer and their scales are trusted. There a South African Company in Kitwe who are far better than FRA. They have good wheighing equipment and pay very well. The only problem are the long lines especially by the big trucks.

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