PATRIOTIC Front secretary general Davies Chama has refuted a newspaper report quoting him as saying the recently launched E-voucher system has failed and that Government must revert to the old system of distributing farming inputs.
Mr Chama said in an interview that there was no way he could have said the E-voucher system inaugurated by President Edgar Lungu last month in Choma had failed when he did not understand its dynamics and context.
He explained that farmers in Kabwe were the ones who uttered such remarks when he met them during his visit to the Central Province.
“It is not me who said that; it is the farmers who assembled in Kabwe who said that. They were complaining about the E-voucher and I said I would address the issue with the minister. I never said it had failed because I do not even understand it,” he said.
Mr Chama was quoted in yesterday’s Sunday Post as saying the system was problematic and needed to be revised and phoned Agriculture minister Given Lubinda to express his misgivings in front of the farmers.
But Mr Chama explained that farmers called for a meeting during his visit and presented the issue to him who later promised to present the matter to Mr Lubinda.
“I do not know why the Post misquoted me. If you read what is in the main (head) line of the article is totally different from the main lines. I do not even understand the details of the E-voucher.
‘‘I do not even understand the dynamics; so it was the farmers presenting their case and I reserved my comment because I do not understand it,” he said.
Mr Chama said he had already spoken to Mr Lubinda who assured him that the matter would be addressed as soon as possible.
“Farmers assembled when I was on a tour of Central Province and they called me for a meeting on the same issue and that they have presented the issue to the minister and the President and even the Vice President.
“I just assured them that I would talk to the minister and I actually talked to him about it. So whether it is lack of implementation or whatever I have no details; so that is totally out of context,’’ he said.
Mr Chama said he only told farmers what the agriculture minister told him.
He however said it was normal for the E-voucher system to have challenges because it was a pilot project being implemented in 13 districts.