MASVINGO – A Zanu PF councillor for Ward 17 in Mwenezi, Simon Chabata is charging villagers R30 each for transport for their agricultural input allocation despite clarifications by senior Government officials that GMB has already paid for transport.
Some 400 beneficiaries from the Ward are made to pay and this means that the councillor pockets R12 000.
Masvingo Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC) Dr Jefter Sakupwanya is on record saying that charging villagers for the delivery of inputs and social welfare food is a crime.
Chabata however, said that he had resorted to charging the villagers because Government has failed to provide free transport on time. He said that farmers are stranded hence they resolved to pay and hire their own transport.
Mwenezi GMB depot manager Edmore Itayi Matiza however, disputed Chabata’s statement and said any councilor charging villagers transport must be arrested.
He said that only Government contracted trucks are allowed to carry inputs which means that the contractors and their drivers are being paid twice for the same job.
“We are delivering inputs for free. Agritex is handling the logistics. Those that are charging for delivery of inputs should be arrested. Only contracted trucks are allowed to carry inputs to villagers,” said Matiza.
Sources told Two Nations that trucks owned by Matapura and Natural are being used to deliver inputs to Ward 17.
Efforts to get a comment from Matapura were futile.
Provincial Agritex officer Alec Muchazivepi said Government availed funding to GMB and all deliveries are being done free of charge.