Local business men/women in Chama District of Eastern Province are said to be working with local law enforcement officers to cash in on the Farmer Input Support Program (FISP ) which they are smuggling to neighbouring Malawi a source has revealed.
The source who works in one of the government departments in the district said over 4000 by 50kg bags of fertilizer have been smuggled by some named business persons in the district.
The source further said the unscrupulous business persons have taken advantage of the porous borders and are smuggling inputs meant for local farmers to Malawi.
He explained that there is no formal crossing point so the business persons are using illegal routes from Chama District to Mbalachanda Sub-district of Malawi.
He said he has helped the police make three arrests but that the law enforcement officers are too relaxed to come in and prosecute the suspects.
He named some of the business persons alleged to be involved in the smuggling of the inputs as Bana Romaro, Bana Bevin and John Ma Egg who where apprehended in Malawi on Saturday but were released instead of holding them in cells to help with investigations.
The three are said to be working with a Mr Zulu from the intelligence department of the police in the District whom he said is sharing bribes with Superintendent Silwamba the Officer In-charge.
“A police intelligence officer is taking bribes from local business men/women to pay a blind eye on the smuggling of inputs to neighbouring Malawi. As a community we have tried to raise alarm at what is happening but it seems like there is a curtail involving the local police and business men in the District who are taking advantage of the porous borders to smuggle inputs meant for our farmers.
“The intelligence officer named Zulu seems to be the one in the forefront in taking bribes but we suspect that the bribes are being shared with his Officer In Charge a Superintendent Silwamba because despite complaints from stakeholders in the District the police seem to be unconcerned at the happens. We are asking the authorities to seriously look into the matter because these people are stealing from their fellow Zambians and undermining government efforts to alleviate the suffering in rural areas through support to peasant farmers,” he said.