The new dawn administration must come out clean and explain what is happening in the procurement of fertiliser.

It must assure the nation that the supply of fertiliser would be through open bidding for all companies to compete on an equal footing.

The concerns that have been raised about the purported state capture must not just be brushed aside, but should be addressed to the satisfaction of all stakeholders.

On Monday, the Daily Nation exposed a plot in which high-ranking government officials are reported to have advanced preparations for a public tender for the supply and delivery of D-Compound fertiliser which was to be awarded to a newly formed company. 

This prompted the PF’s Chilubi Member of Parliament, Mr Mulenga Fube to say “The revelations that a unilateral tender award to newly formed foreign fertiliser company without any track record is expected is a confirmation that the UPND government has been state-captured.

This company has no track record to merit this huge multi-million Kwacha contract.

The controversy that marked the supply of fertiliser during the last farming season is one sad experience that farmers would ever want to go through again.

Purely on political grounds, established fertiliser dealers were cast aside on the premise that they got their contracts illegally for being allies of the Patriotic Front government.

This politicking has also been played out in the health sector in which the Ministry of Health claimed it was cleaning the procurement chain and cancelled contracts of bona fide suppliers.

They were accused of being PF-aligned and the results are that sospitals and other health centres have gone for months without basic medicines.

Instead of open bidding to allow for fresh suppliers, the government was forced to single source new companies to deliver fertiliser, claiming that they were capable.

What the nation witnessed was the Ministry of Agriculture cajoling the so-called newly contracted companies to meet their contractual obligations as they were behind time.

The implications of that chaotic scenario were that farmers planted late, which is most likely to lead to a lower yield, thus threatening not only national but family food security.

That has not been helped by the unpredictable weather as some regions suffered from floods due to the heavy rainfall.

It now turns out, as reported by Mr Fube that the company set to be single-sourced to procure, supply and deliver D-Compound fertiliser failed to provide the commodity and was instead forced to buy last year from the local market, and repack the input for distribution to farmers.

This is the more reason why there must be a review the procurement chain and ensure that sanity returns to government administration that will be anchored on transperancy.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *