SOME Zanu-PF officials in Gutu district are being accused of corruptly demanding cash payments from villagers in order to transport presidential farming inputs given for free.

It is alleged that Zanu-PF District Coordinating Committee (DCC) members for Gutu are conspiring with some truck drivers to demand money which they say is to cover for transport expenses.

Villagers are being asked to pay the money on receiving the inputs, which include seeds and fertilisers.

Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance Councillor for Gutu Ward 33, Bernard Chimwango told NewZimbabwe.com that beneficiaries of the programme are being asked to make payments in United States dollars for them to receive the inputs.

"We have heard reports that people are being forced to pay US dollars to receive Pfumvudza Inputs. Reports have come from across the constituency mostly in have come from ward 16, 38 and 39 of Gutu Central and East. The money is being given to transporters, but Zanu-PF officials are coordinating the process," Chimwango said.

Sources told this publication that US$3 is being charged for a 50kg bag of maize seed and US$1 for a 10kg bag of fertiliser.

Berita Chikwama Gutu East legislator who has been leading the exercise in her constituency was not reachable for comment as her mobile kept diverting calls to an unavailable number.

Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira who is also Zanu-PF chairperson for the province warned those engaging in that activity and said that the government has covered all costs.

"People should be given those inputs free of charge. Anyone who is doing that is stealing from the people because government has paid for all those expenses, money has been availed to all districts for logistical purposes," Chadzamira said.

Last year government was forced to fork out $118 million for transportation of the Climate-Proofed Presidential Inputs Programme.

In Masvingo the programme has been hogging the limelight for all the wrong reasons after Zanu-PF youths allegedly looted inputs at this year's launch at Sipambi Business Centre a few weeks ago.

Source - NewZimbabwe