WASHINGTON DC —
More than 100 communal farmers in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland West Province are stranded at Magunje Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot after the parastatal failed to pay them for maize delivered last agricultural season.
According to three lawmakers, the farmers have nowhere to go as they come from as far afield as Hurungwe West and other areas.
They said at least 150 farmers received varying amounts of money last Friday and Saturday but some were left stranded.
Hurungwe West lawmaker, Severino Tall Chambati said the situation is chaotic at the GMB depot. “It’s sad that farmers are being illtreated by the parastatal which has over the years failed to meet its financial obligations,” said Chambati.
Hurungwe East Member of Parliament, Sarah Mawoka, said she is among farmers who have not been paid by the GMB for maize deliveries for almost three years.
Mawoka claimed that the Ministry of Finance is not concerned about the plight of these stranded farmers who make a living through crop cultivation.
Parliamentary agriculture committee chairman Moses Jiri said the GMB now owes farmers only $750,000 after it paid $20 million for last year’s maize deliveries.
Finance Minister Tendai Biti was not immediately available for comment.