ALL donor support to the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has been frozen with immediate effect until the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of K34 million in what is feared to be massive plunder and looting have been cleared.
The donors have also placed conditions on the use of funds currently in the farmers’ union accounts.
Sources within the Zambia National Farmers Union have revealed that donors have written to freeze funding to the union because of revelations that officials including some members of the board were involved in the plunder of donor money.
ZNFU is today expected to hold its national council meeting and sources said among the issues to be discussed were the suspension of the executive director and the dissolution of the board to pave way for thorough investigations into the plunder of donor money.
A recent Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) preliminary forensic audit report revealed massive plunder and looting at ZNFU in which more than K34 million had been unaccounted for.
“As you may be aware a preliminary forensic report has revealed grand corruption and utter theft in some instances. The donors are also demanding that the executive director Mr Ndambo Ndambo should be suspended to pave for transparent and impartial investigations,” the source said.
Recently donors threatened that they would cut support to ZNFU unless individuals involved in the abuse of more than K34 million paid back the money to the institution.
The donors also called for a complete overhaul of the ZNFU management structure to ensure that there was accountability.
According to the forensic audit report, the ZNFU board and management have been implicated in the looting and plunder of the K34 million through loans and other financial inducements.
Two weeks ago, a closed-door meeting was held between the ZNFU board and donors who demanded the removal of the farmers’ union president Dr Evelyn Nguleka and Mr Ndambo.
Since the revelations of the financial scandal, one of the ZNFU board members Guy Robinson has resigned and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has since moved in to investigate the matter.