Food security under threat

THE wrangles in the fertilizer procurement contract awarded to Nyiombo Investment and Omnia Fertilizers if not properly handled will sabotage the agriculture sector and cause hunger in the nation, says UPND vice president for administration Richard Kapita.

Commenting on the joint investigations team of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) about the allegations of unsound business practices leveled against Nyiombo Investment Limited and Omnia Fertilizers in the procurement and supply of fertilizers to the government supported Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), Mr. Kapita said the move if not properly handled would sabotage agriculture sector and cause hunger in the nation.

Mr. Kapita warned that, “Tell them not to cause hunger in the nation. So far some farmers have not been paid by FRA and now they want to delay the whole process of farming by dragging this matter. We all know how investigations are carried out. The input distribution will be halted until investigations are completed and that is how uncaring and disorganized this government is.”

“We don’t want to be associated with individuals’ fights especially in this matter of fertilizer. This is an individual matter and if not carefully handled it will backfire and that minister in the PF will live to regret having started this battle,” he said.

Mr. Kapita condemned what he said was political interference in the investigations of various matters including fertilizer.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) last week launched investigations into the two companies after a complaint was raised by a Minister in the PF government after he failed to secure a tender through his in-laws company.

Mr. Kapita feared the PF government would sabotage the country because of lack of an agenda.

He said political interests in various government contracts by the PF government were a threat to the country’s economic development.

Mr. Kapita wondered why investigations could be instituted now after Nelia Investments withdrew the matter from the courts of law.

“I am aware that Nelia took this matter to court and withdrew it later. However, no communication was made to suggest the reason why they did that. But if politicians have taken advantage of the matter to start in fighting then they are sabotaging the economy of the country and it is high time ACC and CCPC refused to be used in such fights because they have a negative and destructive bearing to the economy of the nation,” he said

He said the investigations would also halt the distribution of inputs and affect the farming season, adding that the PF government had exhibited high levels of misbehavior in the manner they were conducting government business.

Mr. Kapita reminded some government officials to stop using underhand methods in fighting companies legally awarded the contract.

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