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Parliament wants Transglobe out of Fisp

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The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has said it does not want the involvement of Transglobe Produce Export Limited into this year’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (Fisp).

The committee argues that it does not make sense involving a firm which is under probe as this may compromise issues.

In July this year, the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) arrested Director of Transglobe Rashid Tayub in connection with the government’s procurement of maize from Zambia. The committee has on several times questioned Transglobe on the procurement.

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The committee made a recommendation to the Ministry of Agriculture officials that appeared before it on Tuesday that among the final list of companies that should be involved, Transglobe should not be included as the committee pinpointed that it has seen the list (not final) and Transglobe is appearing on it.

Chairperson of the committee, Joseph Chidanti Malunga, said even though it is only court that can find someone guilty, the committee thinks once someone or a firm is investigated, it is unnecessary to engage it in another business.

“Transglobe has issues with us and the ACB, the company was involved in [alleged] corruption and we want them not to participate. Yes we understand that it is only the court that can say you are guilty or not guilty but we think once you are being investigated, you should not be allowed to participate.

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“We have made these recommendations to the ministry and we hope they are going to take them on board but bear in mind that the final list is not out yet. Once the final list is out, we are also going to engage them and see if they have adhered to our recommendations or not,” he said.

In a separate interview, Fisp Director Osborne Tsoka said as a ministry, they cannot say which people they are working with, saying government cannot say as of now the people they are going to work with as it is waiting to hear from its contractors.

“Our contract managers are Smallholder Farmers Fertiliser Revolving Fund. When the processes have been finalised, we shall be issued with a report, as of now, we have not received the report, so whether Transglobe is there or is not there, I don’t know,” he said

Meanwhile, coupons are expected to arrive in the country from the United Kingdom on September 18 and the second consignment of the coupons will arrive on October 8 2017.

K33 billion was budgeted for use in the 2017- 2018 budget.

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