A SCAM has been unearthed in Choma in which some civil servants are conniving with small-scale farmers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to purchase inputs cheaply.
The development has angered the District Commissioner Bernadette Hamweemba who warned that civil servants were not supposed to be beneficiaries of FISP because the programme was meant for vulnerable farmers.
Ms Hamweemba told journalists yesterday that some civil servants and commercial farmers in Choma had formed a cartel by paying small-scale farmers registered under FISP to dubiously purchase inputs for them.
"FISP is meant to benefit underprivileged small-scale farmers, but I have just discovered that some of our civil servants and commercial farmers are paying small-scale farmers to buy inputs for them at the expense of disadvantaging intended FISP beneficiaries," she said.
Ms Hamweemba said the distribution of inputs under FISP was designed to economically empower selected small-scale farmers and that civil servants were excluded from the programme.
She was disappointed that some civil servants and commercial farmers could form such a cartel to disadvantage vulnerable people in Choma instead of assisting the government implement the programme aimed at benefiting the less privileged.
Ms Hamweemba said the behaviour of such civil servants was an aggressive frustration of Government's efforts in alleviating poverty and hunger in the district.
She urged the Choma District agricultural coordinator (DACO) to strictly monitor the distribution of farming inputs under FISP and that only intended beneficiaries should receive the packs.
She also appeared to the law enforcement agencies to conduct thorough investigations and apprehend the perpetrators.