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Command Agriculture is actually fleecing farmers, not helping them: Jonathan Moyo

Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has continued raising questions about Command Agriculture. He has further claimed that instead of subsidising costs for farmers, the programme is actually fleecing the farmers by overcharging them for diesel. He also claims that the programme’s purported financier, Sakunda Holdings, is actually making a killing from the programme. Speaking to the Standard, Moyo said:

Take the diesel fuel example. Extank Msasa it’s 54,5 cents per litre; duty is 46,1 cents per litre; the wholesale margin is 6 cents per litre; the dealer/retail margin is 6 cents per litre; local transport is 1 cent; transit losses are 1 cent and the Zera pump price effective 3 July is $1,16 per litre.

Yet command agriculture is currently charging the farmer $1,21. The farmer is being ripped off big time in three ways.

First there’s 5 cents prejudice, which is the difference between $1,21 and $1,16. Second, the duty of 46,1 cents per litre and the 6 cents dealer/retail margin (which amount to 52,1 cents) that the financier/supplier is not incurring are being charged to the farmer.

Third, the real price that the farmer should be paying per litre of fuel, if the programme is a subsidy as claimed by Chinamasa, is $1,16 minus 52,1 cents and that’s 63,9 cents; instead the farmer is paying $1,21!

The programme has been engulfed with the fires of conflict of interest, lack of checks and balances, no competitive bidding, bad corporate governance and wanton violation of State Procurement Regulations made worse by the fact that the financer of the programme is responsible for the procurement of all inputs, thereby risking overpricing and rent-seeking behaviour, commonly known as corruption. And [the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission] Zacc has been conspicuous by its blindness and silence in this manifestly unacceptable situation.

The financer, Sakunda, traded all the issued TBs in violation of their non-tradable features. This fact plus the repayments of the “loan” through the Noczim Debt Redemption Fund and the treasury budget means that command agriculture has in fact been wholly funded by the government — meaning taxpayers — but at a very high cost and in violation of State Procurement Regulations. VP Mnangagwa’s many public assertions that command agriculture has been funded by the private sector are thus simply not true.

More: The Standard

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