THE Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) must quickly resolve the crisis involving the mismanagement of funds in the institution because this will heavily affect operations of many Government projects they are mandated to carry out, says Zambia Cooperative Society (ZCF) director general James Chirwa.
Mr Chirwa said in an interview that there were some projects being carried out by the ZNFU on behalf of Government which would be halted if the institution did not quickly resolve its mismanagement of fund issues.
Donors have halted funding to ZNFU following a forensic audit which revealed alleged massive abuse and misapplication of resources amounting to K34 million. Now stakeholders have called for the removal of the present management and recovery of any money lost.
Mr Chirwa said: “We have no jurisdiction to intervene in what is happening but we are appealing to the board and stakeholders to resolve the issues without having to cause a breakdown in operations.
“Any breakdown in operations at that institution will heavily affect the small scale farmers and certain very important projects they carry out on behalf of Government. That is why we are saying there is need for an amicable solution to these issues.”
He said it was unfortunate that ZCF was not aware of what was happening at the ZNFU even though the two were complimentary institutions.
“You may be interested to know that ZNFU was an affiliate of ZCF. Our two organisations are complimentary and we are supposed to be working closely together.
“They have a position to lobby and we have a position to perform so if one side of us is not functioning properly, some processes are negatively affected on the other side,” he said.
Mr Chirwa said ZCF was concerned that small scale farmers would be negatively affected by what was happening at the ZNFU because they relied on operations of the institution.
“Our reaction would be that it is unfortunate that this is happening at this time when we are expected to provide service to our small scale farmers.
“The ZNFU should resolve this matter as soon as possible without unnecessary delay so that there is continuity in service provision to small scale farmers. We can only urge our colleagues to quickly resolve these issues,” he said.
Mr Chirwa said he was confident that ZNFU would resolve its management crisis because every challenge had solutions.