Parly roasts GMB managers

GRAIN Marketing Board (GMB)’s top managers were grilled by parliamentarians yesterday after it emerged that they had left over 61 000 metric tonnes of grain maize to rot at the parastatal’s silos and later sold it to livestock producers for a song.

BY VENERANDA LANGA

GMB acting general manager Lawrence Jasi and acting secretary for Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development ministry Joseph Gondo were taken to task over the issue by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Mufakose MP Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T).

Jasi blamed the rot on the government’s failure to release funds for management of the strategic grain reserve and procurement of pesticides.

“In terms of grain strorage resources it is important to have proper empty bags and to cover grain during rains with tarpaulins – and if you take wrong moisture content during grading you may not be able to manage the grain and you have to apply fumigants at an appropriate time,” Jasi said.

“We have had a situation at GMB where provision of resources to manage grain is not given and you end up downgrading grain to the extent this period we downgraded 61 000 metric tonnes which we sold below market value.”

The committee was, however, not impressed with his excuses given that over one million people were reportedly in need of food aid following a poor summer farming season this year.

Jasi said they had now requested for storage resources and repair of silo infrastructure to avoid wastage, but MPs felt the GMB quality assurance department was not alert enough.

He said currently the strategic grain reserves were holding 118 000 metric tonnes, adding they were expecting the figure to go up since they were still receiving maize. On the issue of imported maize being cheaper than the GMB price of $390 per tonne, Gondo said it was due to the cost of production where inputs were expensive whereas in countries like Zambia they were subsidised.

But, MPs alleged there were some cash barons who swindled farmers buying maize at $180 and later selling it to GMB for $390.
The committee also grilled GMB over their accounts which they said were in shambles.

GMB deputy general manager (finance and administration) Joe Muzurura said the parastatal did not have a computerised accounting system.


Muzurura said GMB needed $1,5 million per month to manage the strategic grain reserves, adding workers were owed $17 million in salary arrears, with farmers owed $26 million from 2012, of which $9 million was the amount owed for the current season.

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5 Comments

  1. “The parastatal did not have a computerised accounting system,” so said Deputy General Manager (finance and administration) Joe Muzurura, (muzururi wemasuwo ehumbavha nehuwori)

    Is this supposed to be a strategic national entity!!!!!

  2. It shows that GMB deputy General Manager is not not aware what SAP is. SAP is an advanced accounting package which is being used by most Zimbabwean parastatals including GMB. Gmb was the third parastatal to use SAP in this country. GMB just dont have managers.

  3. Sap is there taura hako MM,SD,FI svese zviri tiiiiiii

  4. So the grain you have not paid for chaka ora mukatengesa. Talk about management….yah. When are you going to pay the outstanding money to the struggling farmers????
    Incompetency, inefficiency I don’t know how to describe GMB.

  5. Phillip Munyaradzi

    All accounting packages need to be supported and Monthly or annual fees paid for them to be operational. Having SAP does not mean it is functional, so it means the GMB has not been paying hence, inability to use the system. In situations like these you doubt the sincerity of govt in promoting the agricultural sector. Who needs sanctions if we can be so irresponsible. I personally think that the GMB should be the 1st institution to be funded especially considering the land reform programme.Also competent people who can perfom need to be employed, not just people with degrees and Diploma’s and no performance. The GMB and indeed other institutions were doing well being run nema Std 6 nemaForm 2.The Ndine mapaper angu sydrome is destroying the nation.Corrective action needs to be taken and fast, and practicality is needed in addressing issues pertaining to the nation. Arbitrage opportunities need to be eliminated from Agric Markets, by being realistic about prices and the developments in neighbouring states. Zim needs to adopt a serious performance management framework especially regarding governmental institutions and parastals.

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