Parly probes Operation Maguta

HARARE - Legislators yesterday demanded an explanation from government on the farm mechanisation programme and Operation Maguta/Inala.

The Public Accounts parliamentary portfolio committee chaired by Mufakose MDC MP Paurina Mpariwa grilled Ringson Chitsiko, the permanent secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development on the exact beneficiaries of the two programmes.

She argued that the beneficiaries were not known and that some have failed to pay back cash advanced to them by the State.

Chitsiko said the mechanisation programme was run by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), whilst on Maguta-Inala programme, it was a Cabinet decision. He said there was a board that managed Operation Maguta-Inala and acted independently.

Operation Maguta/Inala was administered by the army and was set up in 2007 as a government vehicle for mobilising and distributing inputs such as seed, fuel and fertiliser to A1 and communal farmers countrywide under a managed national cropping plan where some two million hectares were to be put under maize production for delivery to national silo, the Grain Marketing Board.

“The committee wants to know what was happening in these programmes,” Mpariwa asked.

Chitsiko retorted: “It is very difficult to answer because I don’t have many details as these were being carried by RBZ, which was financing these programmes. We were not briefed on the amount of money that was spent or who benefited.”

However, Mpariwa asked Chitsiko to go back to his office and carry out thorough research on the matter so that he can fully inform the committee next week when it recalls him.

“We are going to ask you come back next week fully-prepared to answer our questions,” she said.

“It does not make sense to us that you do not know what was happening in your ministry as these programmes were under your ministry. We need names of the people who benefited, or whether they paid back the loans.

“We have MPs in this committee who are former Cabinet ministers and they remember these issues were put under your ministry of which you are denying. They are keen to know whether you are not lying to the committee.”

She was referring to Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, former Cabinet ministers in the inclusive government, who were also querying Chitsiko’s answer together with one of his directors Kudakwashe Zata.

Comments (4)

these operations must be investigated thoroughly, beneficiaries particularly of the farm mechanisation programme identified and be made to pay back what they owe. these are some of the things that are scaring away capital in the economy. we need accountability.

pay what you owe - 21 January 2014

Oh ! my foot. The minister does not know what was happening in his ministry. I propose that he resign from his job. This unbelievable.

mambo - 21 January 2014

here we go again, incompetence and corruption is so rampant in government.

DANDARO - 22 January 2014

Wait a minute, who said Chtsiko was a minister? Further more operation Maguta was a military operation as Chitsiko has clearly explained and to us who have suffered endlessly under this regime you know what that needs. If Chitsiko had asked the army to account he will have been told it would compromise national security and it would hasten his chances of getting into a fatal accident or worse still vanish like so many have done under this regime. Glad I am not in Chitsiko's shoes. His is supposed to be a technical post, not in Zimbabwe, ZANU knows everything, they monitor bedroom sex, a$$ wiping, sexual orientation, run mines, farms you name it. The sad story though is that everything they run turns to dust! Yes good old dirt. Ex-Chibero (Farming in Zambia)

Bingo Wajakata - 22 January 2014

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