By ANDREW MUKOMA
A SCAM has been unearthed in which some agriculture extension officers in Southern Province are collecting money from farmers and telling them to be registered as voters if they want to access farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).
This came to light during the Guta Mwenzebwe Lwiindi Traditional ceremony of the Toka-Leya people of Nyawa Chiefdom in Kazungula.
Provincial Minister Cornelius Mweetwa who was the guest of honour confirmed to the media that the disturbing development is rampant in rural areas.
Mr Mweetwa said it is meant to dent the government’s image by selfish extension officers.
He called on farmers to treat such information as false and report anyone coming in the name of government to collect money while giving them wrong information as guidelines to benefit from the FISP programme are clear.
He warned that any officer who will be found doing so will be punished.
And Mr Mweetwa also disclosed that there are agriculture officers who are fraudulently obtaining fertiliser from the government using ghost farmers for personal gain.
He said that any government workers who will be caught will face the consequences.
Mr Mweetwa directed the Provincial Agricultural Coordinator to bring the culprits to book and quickly castigate the false information which is being peddled and give the correct position of the government.