SHOCKER: 188 ALIENS AC­CESS FISP

Daily Nation Newspaper - - HOME NEWS - By BEN­NIE MUNDANDO

A TO­TAL of 188 non-Zam­bians in Kapiri Mposhi got Elec­tronic Voucher cards and were in­cluded among ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the Farmer In­put Sup­port Pro­gramme (FISP) dur­ing the 2017/2018 farm­ing sea­son, thereby de­fraud­ing Gov­ern­ment of over K376, 000, the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s re­port has re­vealed. But Kapiri Mposhi District Com­mis­sioner Peter Mwi­inde dis­missed the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s re­port say­ing it was not pos­si­ble for Gov­ern­ment to give in­puts to for­eign­ers when Zam­bians who were not el­i­gi­ble never ben­e­fit­ted from the same. Ac­cord­ing to the 2017 Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s re­port, 188 for­eign­ers were in­cluded as ben­e­fi­cia­ries in the FISP pro­gramme for the 2017/2018 sea­son and had their E-voucher cards loaded with a to­tal amount of K376, 000. “Dur­ing the 2017/2018 farm­ing sea­son, one hun­dred and eighty eight (188) farmers from Kapiri Mposhi who had their E-voucher cards loaded with a to­tal amount of K376, 000 were non Zam­bian na­tion­als,” reads the re­port in part. The re­port also shows that coun­try­wide, a to­tal of 4,633 farmers among those who had made con­tri­bu­tions to­wards the FISP pro­gramme to re­ceive in­puts never ap­peared on the list of ap­proved ben­e­fi­cia­ries “A com­par­i­son of the list of de­pos­i­tors on ZIAMIS to the list of ap­proved ben­e­fi­cia­ries re­vealed that four thou­sand, six hun­dred and thirty three (4,633) farmers who made con­tri­bu­tions in amounts to­tal­ing K2, 455, 732, were not ap­pear­ing on the list of ap­proved ben­e­fi­cia­ries. “It was also ob­served that two thou­sand and sev­enty two (2,072) farmers who had paid farmers’ con­tri­bu­tions in amounts to­tal­ing K828, 800 were not ap­pear­ing on the ap­proved list of farmers and their cards were not loaded with farmers’ con­tri­bu­tions,” reads the re­port. But when con­tacted for a com­ment, Mr. Mwi­inde said the sys­tem that Gov­ern­ment was us­ing to give in­puts to farmers was not por­ous and there­fore could not ac­com­mo­date for­eign­ers and that such an alarm­ing state­ment could not be true, but re­ferred fur­ther queries to those in charge of FISP. “The FISP pro­gramme is aimed at mak­ing small-scale farmers vi­able and not ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit. If some farmers within Zam­bian do not ben­e­fit from the pro­gramme be­cause of the yard­stick Gov­ern­ment has set on who should ac­cess these in­puts, how can a for­eigner sneak into this coun­try and be­come a ben­e­fi­ciary? “At first glance, this state­ment is alarm­ing and not true. I have not yet seen the Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s re­port but all I can say is that it is not pos­si­ble that peo­ple from other coun­tries can come here and ben­e­fit from our Gov­ern­ment pro­gramme. Gov­ern­ment is do­ing a com­mend­able job in build­ing ca­pac­ity among farmers and must be sup­ported. How­ever, the peo­ple in charge of the E-voucher would be in the best po­si­tion to ex­plain this mat­ter,” he said.

The FISP pro­gramme is aimed at mak­ing small scale farmers vi­able and not ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit. If some farmers within Zam­bian do not ben­e­fit from the pro­gramme be­cause of the yard­stick Gov­ern­ment has set on who should ac­cess these in­puts, how can a for­eigner sneak into this coun­try and be­come a ben­e­fi­ciary? — Au­di­tor Gen­eral’s re­port .

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