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…500 farmers left in limbo

By Thulasiwe Tembo
Over 3,000 bags of fertilizer under the Farmer Input Support Program in Luanshya has gone missing.

The fertilizer was under the Farmer Input Support Program distributed for Luanshya District.

This means that over 500 farmers will be affected by the theft of fertilizer.

Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe warned that anyone found will be dealt with harshly.

Mr Nundwe said it is unacceptable for civil servants to steal fertilizer that is aimed at enhancing food security for the nation.

He told Journalists in Ndola that once the investigations are concluded, action will be taken.

“The goal for Government is to ensure that we have a bumper harvest for all the crops across the nation. The stance taken by the President to deliver farming inputs in all the Districts on time is unprecedented. U can’t allow any civil servant, or transporter to frustrate these efforts,” said Nundwe.

“We can’t have a section of people in Luanshya District in particular to steal with impunity. If it is truly established that it is them that have stolen, am sorry!  I want to warn them that they will face the law and dismissal. We can’t allow this when the President means well to the farmers.”

Luanshya Mayor Nathan Chanda has welcomed the move taken by Copperbelt Permanent Secretary Bright Nundwe over the missing bags of fertilizer in the District.

Mr Chanda, however, said the PS should not just end at warning and threatening the involved civil servants but action should be taken quickly.

But Mr Chanda notes that more and quick action needs to be taken against the civil servants who have been mentioned and are involved.

Mr Chanda said Luanshya is a farming block and most of the people depend on farming.

“For the first time under President Edgar Lungu and the PF Government we have provided the farming inputs on time and were supposed to be ready for distribution and benefit small Scale Farmers, but some unpatriotic civil servants who are known have stolen. Our PS should do more. Let action be quickly taken,” he said.

Mr Chanda also reminded the Permanent Secretary to take action against a supplier who failed to deliver a garbage compator truck.

“I want to also remind the Permanent Secretary to take action against the supplier who has failed to deliver a garbage compator truck which was procured by the Provincial Administration on behalf of the Luanshya Municipal Council. Two years now and the garbage truck has not yet been delivered despite the supplier getting an up-front of over 75% of the total contract sum 1,600,000.00 million Kwacha.

“This has not only angered the Civic Leaders but residents of Luanshya because it is affecting our management of solid waste and keep Luanshya clean campaigns. Action should be taken because this is pure theft of public funds which the council is struggling to mobilise for effective and efficient service delivery,” said Mr Chanda.

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