By JOHN KOMBE
A SCAM has been unearthed in which the Chongwe cooperative committee paid K34, 800 as contribution for 87 ghost farmers to fraudulently obtain inputs valued at K147, 900 from Government.
This was under the Farmer Input Support Programme for the 2019/2020 farming season.
Chongwe District Commissioner, Robster Mwanza, confirmed that committee members had since confessed to him in a letter.
Mr Mwanza also alleged that all executive members of cooperative societies in Kanankatapa Agriculture Camp were fraudulently obtaining fertiliser from Government using ghost farmers for personal gain.
He said the scam was unearthed after members of the committee who were not part of the scam, reported the matter to acting District Agriculture Coordinating Officer (DACO), John Lungu who immediately launched investigations and confirmed the allegations as being true.
Mr Mwanza disclosed that Natwange Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Chairperson, Abroson Phiri and some of his executive committee members paid K34 800.00 as farmers’ contribution for 87 ghost farmers so that they could het inputs valued at K147, 900.00 from Government.
Meanwhile, Mr Phiri has written a letter to the District Agriculture Coordinator’s office in which he has admitted having connived with some of his executive committee members to get the inputs.
Mr Phiri has also revealed that he and some of his committee members attempted to commit the fraud with the blessings of the Camp Agriculture Committee for Kanakantapa area which oversees all government agriculture activities in the area.
Mr Mwanza also disclosed that Government has blacklisted the Multipurpose Cooperative Society on account of said scam.
He said the cooperative would not be allowed to access farming inputs from Government through FISP or any other Government programme.
By JOHN KOMBE