By Lance Guma
The Grain Marketing Board has now been ordered to remove stickers on bags of maize imported from Zambia, because they show the names of dispossessed white Zimbabwean farmers who are now effectively feeding the country from Zambia.
A report in the Zimbabwean newspaper says the recipients of the government’s grain loan scheme in Matabeleland were shocked to discover that the names on the stickers on the grain bags were of former white farmers.
One of the recipients told the paper he received two bags of maize grain under the scheme, from the GMB depot in Insiza, and confirmed that one of the bags had a green sticker inside written ‘supplied by Michel Handris’ a former Karoi commercial farmer now farming in the southern parts of Zambia.
Even villagers in Umguza confirmed receiving the maize bags with the green stickers. A GMB source has since toldgmb
the paper: “We are now required to destroy all the Zambian bags and repackage the grain in our local bags”.
Agriculture Minister Joseph Made admitted in May this year that Zimbabwe would have a one million tonne maize deficit. Critics have largely blamed this on ZANU PF’s disastrous land grab policy which rewarded cronies of the regime at the expense of competent farmers.
Even though Zambia used to import maize from Zimbabwe in the past, the tables have turned with white farmers who lost their farms in Zimbabwe moving across the border and helping to grow a surplus there in the last two seasons.
To rub salt into the wound the Food Reserve Agency in Zambia confirmed in May that it was destroying “the huge stockpiles of rotting maize in a bid to create space for this year’s harvest from June 1.” SW Radio Africa
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