Home News Zimbabwe government collects maize from farmers

Zimbabwe government collects maize from farmers

Soldiers stand on the streets in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 15, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

GOVERNMENT has deployed soldiers and other state security organs to raid and seize grain from individuals, farmers and other players even at roadblocks and deliver it to the Grain Marketing Board (GMB).

Humanitarian agencies have warned that more than five million Zimbabweans may face starvation despite millions having been spent on command agriculture to boost security.Zimbabwe needs an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of maize annually, with 1.8 million earmarked for human consumption.

Last week, the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) said it had purchased 400 000 tonnes of maize from Malawi and Zambia worth US$100 million in the wake of the poor harvests.Lands and Agriculture ministry permanent secretary John Bhasera last week sounded alarm bells over low deliveries to the GMB before calling on the parastatal to engage state security services to raid players suspected to be hoarding maizeIn a memo to the GMB chief executive officer Rockie Mutenha dated May 24, 2022, Bhasera said only 5000 metric tonnes (MT) has been delivered to GMB out of an estimated 30 000 MT.“You are, therefore, required to operationalise the provisions of Statutory Instrument (SI) 145/19 in order to prevent and avert the side marketing of grain with immediate effect,” Bhasera said.

“This includes but is not limited to conducting grain busting operations at various non GMB depots, as well as the setting up of permit inspections at various points such as roadblocks