Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

12 January 2013

Tanzania: Mwanri Orders Arrest of Voucher Abusers

Sumbawanga — THE Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr Aggrey Mwanri, has directed all district commissioners in the country to bring to book those colluding with farmers to misappropriate agriculture inputs, including fertilizers, through the voucher system.

Mr Mwanri identified the culprits as some agents, who were tasked to distribute agriculture inputs to farmers through voucher system, farmers themselves and some dishonest officials, adding that once caught they must be arrested and arraigned. Mwanri was compelled to issue such directives during series of public rallies held in different areas, in both the newly established Kalambo and Sumbawanga districts, where he was briefed that some dishonest agents colluded with farmers in syndicates where the former gave the latter 10,000/- to sign for agriculture inputs that are not supplied to them.

"I was shocked to hear that a farmer accepts 10,000/- and signs vouchers without taking the items. It means that you are enriching the agents as they pocket 75,000/- as super profits from a bag of Urea fertilizer worth 85,000/- while you receive 10,000/- only, which is something very strange," he reacted. Furthermore, he once again ordered DCs in the country to stop banks from paying any agent found guilty of participating in such a scam immediately rather than waiting until the season ends.

The Acting Sumbawanga DC, Moshi Chang'a, maintained to have known several people including agents who have been colluding with farmers in such a scam, which had completely paralyzed the distribution of agriculture inputs through the voucher system in some rural areas. "I swear their days are numbered because I have in my possession a list of their names. I will track down all of them and take them to task," hinted the DC.

It was at that moment Mr Mwanri ordered Mr Chang'a to expedite his tracking initiative and arrest them because the process is easy for him as he knows the culprits by their names.

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