FERTILISER, Seed Grain (FSG) managing director, Steve Morland was yesterday questioned by Parliament over how his company got the contract to supply fertiliser to the presidential input scheme, with legislators suspecting that the company had been handpicked without going through the required tender procedures.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Morland appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture chaired by Justice Mayor Wadyajena, where MPs claimed FSG fertilisers were being sold at retail price rates instead of producer rates.
Wadyajena asked him to explain how he was chosen to supply the presidential input scheme with fertilisers and agro-chemicals, a contract worth $69 775 000.
“We submitted a proposal to supply the presidential input scheme with fertiliser to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe [RBZ], and we were identified by the RBZ because we are a fertiliser company and they were looking for fertiliser,” Morland said.
“I was invited to meet RBZ governor, John Mangudya to discuss the issue at the RBZ after I submitted my proposal.”
But Wadyajena insisted they were handpicked without following proper tender procedures.
“I was only asked to supply a proposal detailing what I could do in terms of supplying fertiliser, delivery and payment plans because our core business is that we supply seed and fertilisers,” Morland said.
He said maize seed was charged at a cost of $3 200 per tonne, compound D fertiliser at $30,75 per bag, and ammonium nitrate at $29,05 per bag.
“We have a factory in Bindura, with a production capacity of 1 000 tonnes per day.
“We also import certain raw materials that are not available in Zimbabwe and combine them with those available in Zimbabwe.
“We import sulphuric acid, which we supply to Zimphos,” Morland said.
Marondera East legislator, Jeremiah Chiwetu then asked Morland to give details of the FSG shareholding and his nationality.
“FSG is a local entity registered in 2010 and we started as a family business, and then we brought in overseas investors. I am not a Zimbabwean by birth and I am in the country on a temporary residence permit. I was born in Scotland and grew up in South Africa,” he said.
Wadyajena then ordered Morland to submit the proposal which he handed to the RBZ and proof of how government was paying for the fertiliser, and whether it was in foreign currency or bank transfer. He will appear again before the committee in a fortnight.