Agric secretary, Parliament fallout over GMB mess - Zimbabwe Situation

Agric secretary, Parliament fallout over GMB mess

via Agric secretary, Parliament fallout over GMB mess | The Source By Chipo Musoko, HARARE, February 25

Parliament on Tuesday quizzed the agriculture permanent secretary, Ringson Chitsike over allegations of hefty salaries of Grain Marketing Board (GMB) management while workers have gone without salaries for six months.

Responding to a question by Member of Parliament (MP) for Makoni West, Kudzanai Chipanga on how the ministry was addressing the plight of the unpaid workers and alleged hefty salaries of top management, Chitsike declined to comment.

“I don’t know exactly what everybody in top management of GMB is earning. I am not be able to answer that,” he said adding that he was also not aware that workers had gone for so long without being paid.

This infuriated members of the lands and agriculture parliamentary  portfolio committee.

“I have not asked you to disclose the salaries for the top management but am concerned about the salaries of ordinary workers,” said Chipanga.

In response Chitsike attributed the non-payment of salaries to lack of funding.

“Repeatedly, as a ministry we wrote to the Ministry of Finance for resources towards GMB and the answer always has been that there is no money,” he said.

MP for Lobengula Sipepa Nkomo labelled the permanent secretary a politician for evading questions.
“If the permanent secretary doesn’t know, who does because you are the supervisor of GMB?” asked Nkomo.

He said the board was a profitable entity which received money from government  annually to buy maize which it then sold and kept the proceeds.

The MP for Makoni South, Mandi Chimene said the permanent secretary’s response was shocking.

“Are you really the permanent secretary? It’s very pathetic. GMB is your largest parastatal that feeds the nation and you do not seem to have oversight on this parastatal,” she said.

Chitsiko said he had recently been transferred to the ministry and pledged to supply the required information ‘soon.’

MPs also complained about the dilapidated state of the parastatal’s silos and urged the ministry to ensure that refurbishments were done before grain was delivered. The government, MPs noted, was spending money on maize imports, which would then rot in the silos. As a result, more imports would be bought with the same result, in a vicious circle.

Chitsiko also attributed the dilapidation to lack of funding.

“The state of the silos is a cause for concern not only for the committee but for us as the ministry of agriculture and GMB,” he said.

He said by June some refurbishments would be done. Negotiations with a Chinese firm, AVIC, to repair the silos was still being negotiated.

Chitsiko said government owed GMB $44 million as the board was converting revenue from  its commercial ventures to buy grain reserves, compromising its financial status.

The permanent secretary said government was anticipating a harvest of between 1.6 million metric tonnes to 1.8 million tonnes this season worth around $800 million but would only be able to buy 500 000 tonnes for grain reserves.



  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 4 years

    The responsible man does not know any facts about the most topical issue of salaries under his responsibility. The monopoly grain trader does not have enough money to buy the grain that is going to be for sale. Zimasset in action. True innovation. When I thought it would be hard to screw up worse I am proven wrong. I am sure all of you ZANU voters are proud of what you are doing to this country.

  • comment-avatar
    Roving Ambassador 4 years

    Its Zanu’s self destruction button .As the cake gets smaller, the roachies will turn on each other. The signs are already there.

  • comment-avatar
    John Weeks 4 years

    As the house of cards falls ….

  • comment-avatar

    Idambudziko bhora ragohwa asi agohwesa arikuchema panzvimbo pokufara.munoivonavo sei vehama?

  • comment-avatar
    Gutu 4 years

    Vanhu vanonongwa vachipihwa zvigaro vasingazivi zvokuita! Its Joseph Made who put him there.

  • comment-avatar
    Tongoona 4 years

    While it is criminal to fail to pay workers for six months, it is a disaster to fail to pay farmers for grain deliveries for six years. It is equally fraudulent to fail to give farmers fertilizer bought in 2007 and 2008. It is unbelievable that Chitsiko is completely blank about what is going on at GMB. It is a free range management style, kungosaidzirawo kumafuro kana dzikadya zvirimwa zvevanhu hazvina basa kuna Chitsiko. GMB management iri kudya zvirimwa zvevanhu mufudzi Chitsiko akatarisa. With no supervision from the top, GMB mess is too gust to contemplate and the skeletons in GMB management closets too many count.

    What begs for answers is how GMB can be said to be broke when it is stealing grain from the farmers and selling it at premium prices. Mandi Chimene well done. Hauna kurova imbwa wakaviga mupinyi. If Joseph Made wants to jack up GMB, he must look at making Mandi his Perm Sec. Chitsiko Mumvuri chaiwo.