By Nyasha N. Mukapiko
In one of the Parliament question and answer sessions last week, Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Dr Joseph Made exposed the ills within the countries’ grain depot, Grain Marketing Board (GMB) when he revealed that farmers were doomed payment upon misplacing receipts.
Minister Made was responding to a motion which had been moved by Mabel Kaundikiza, Zanu-PF legislator for Mashonaland East constituency.
MP Kaundikiza had asked the minister if there was a government policy which hinders farmers to get paid when they misplace their receipts before payment.
Minister Made responded saying government policy was that GMB cannot pay if one cannot produce a receipt.
Hon Kaundikiza raised a supplementary question, querying why there were no other alternatives that involves charging searching fees like what the Ministry of Home Affairs do through the Registrar’s Office, when one lose documents
“Why is it that the GMB does not have such a facility to assist farmers if they happen to misplace or lose their receipts, since the receipts originated from GMB?” queried Kaundikiza.
Dr Made remained adamant on his position and insisted that farmers were obliged to produce receipts at all cost or risk losing their payments.
Oliver Mandipaka a MP for Buhera West also expressed displeasure, posing a question to the minister why officials were failing to make the use of receipts books to retrieve information.
Upon realisation that the net was closing on him Minister Made dodged and indicated that there were some farmers coming with false information that they had delivered maize but without the proof.
Deputy speaker of Parliament Marble Chinomoma told the Minister that losing a receipt was not anything out of this world, but insisted searching offices where the receipt could have originated from unless in other cases were the books may have been thrown away.
Dr Made however refused to eat a humble pie and stuck to his guns refusing to accept the suggestions made by his colleagues.