Michael Magoronga Midlands Correspondent
Councillors from Zibagwe Rural District Council have expressed concern over delays in distribution of grain meant for food relief by Kwekwe Grain Marketing Board (GMB) deport, which has left villagers stranded.
Speaking during a special council meeting recently, the councillors said they had since petitioned Kwekwe District Administrator Mr Fortune Mpungu to intervene.
The councillors also accused some officials at the GMB depot of soliciting bribes from them to release the grain.
Councillor Idirashe Dongo of Ward 12 said what was happening at the depot was in contravention of President Mnangagwa’s call to eradicate all forms of corruption. “These people at the GMB Kwekwe depot are very corrupt and we must expose them,” he said. “They deliberately delay the process so that you pay. At one time I spent the whole day at the depot while trying to execute a process that only takes minutes.”
Another councillor, Mr Rodgers Nhari, said Mr Mpungu should assist in the matter. “There is one official at the weigh bridge and others who demand payment to do their duties,” he said. “They even deny access to the premises to loaders that we bring along.”
Councillor Stanley Mahlangu said at one time he spent the night at the depot after he failed to access the grain for people in his ward.
“At one time I spent the whole night there after I failed to access maize,” he said. “I could not go back to Silobela empty-handed. I was only served the following day. The situation is bad at the depot and Government should act.”
Mr Mpungu said he had already met with the new GMB Kwekwe Depot manager Mrs Farano Chigogora who promised to resolve the issue.
“As the food relief team, we met and urged her to put her house in order and she promised to do exactly that,” he said. “It is bad when people fail to access maize due to one or two corrupt individuals and I am sure that the matter is being looked into.” Mrs Chigogora said she was relatively new to the depot and was still conducting a handover-takeover process.
She admitted receiving complaints over delays in the disbursement of grain, but said she was yet to receive any complaints over underhand dealings which she strongly condemned.