Many PF ministers risk prosecution for corruption and abuse of office after leaving government because they are not following the law in running government activities, says Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) president Jervis Zimba.
“This government has introduced so many things which are not backed by the law. For instance the barter system with the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). We don’t trust government on the farmer-FRA barter system because it is not backed by law, farmers can lose out,” said Mr. Zimba.
He said that he would not be surprised if the law visited some ministers after leaving office because of doing things that were not supported by Parliament and the law of the land. Mr. Zimba who was speaking yesterday at the Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) 9th annual general meeting in Lusaka at which he told Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Development Luxon Kazabu that farmers did not trust the PF government because of lack of foresight and conflicting statements which were not backed by the law.
“Sir tell your fellow ministers that we are not happy with government’s unilateral decisions being made because they don’t represent the people and major stakeholders,” said Mr. Zimba.
“Let’s stop confusing people; there have been so many pronouncements by your government Mr. Minister Sir even by people who are not ministers in the ministry but want to talk about agriculture they don’t really understand.
Mr. Zimba said that he would not be surprised to see several ministers in the PF government being probed for various offences, including abuse of authority and corruption after leaving power because of working outside the law.
And Mr. Zimba noted that it was sad that most ministers in the PF government were talking about the promotion of diversification which they did not understand.
He said that the situation on the ground was a crisis because ministers were confusing people when they were talking about issues such as fuel and maize subsidy which they totally did not understand.
“I sat watching ZNBC TV where one of the ministers in your government Sir was talking about fuel and maize subsidy without proper understanding. But I have to tell you Mr. Minister that the increment of inputs from K50 to K125 will reduce the participation of farmers this farming season.”
“Mr. Minister Sir, farmers were failing to pay K50 in the past and the removal of subsidy has seen the increase from K50 to K125, will they manage this time around? The produce in the next farming season will drop immediately and it is up to you to address this problem,” said Mr. Zimba.
Mr. Zimba said that Zambia would face about 20 to 30 per cent decrease in produce and would make poor people poorer, adding that the PF government would miss out on the target of ensuring that Zambia had a sustainable food security.
And Deputy Minister Kazabu said that issues to do with subsidy were a matter of policy.
“None of us can deny that the impact of the removal of subsidy on fuel will be felt because we know that fuel is the driver of the economy of the country. Since it is policy which was made, it is a thing which calls for collective wisdom over the impact of the removal of fuel subsidy,” said Mr Kazabu.
He said that there was need to find measures that could help to address the pressure the country was facing as a result of the challenges that has come with the removal of fuel subsidy.