Corruption Allegations Rock Ministry: Permanent Secretary and Politician Accused in Fertilizer Scandal
31 January 2024
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By A Correspondent| The Permanent Secretary for Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, Professor Obert Jiri, is facing potential arrest in connection with allegations of approving the corrupt distribution of fertilizer inputs to villagers in Chipinge South.

Jiri is implicated alongside Effie Zituta, an aspiring politician from Chipinge South, and a report has since been filed with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) while security measures have been implemented to halt the dispatch of fertilizer pending further investigation.

Zituta, known for previous involvement in controversies such as the NSSA debacle and Farmec tractor issues, is named in a dossier dated January 26.

The document reveals that a request for fertilizer, made through Prof Jiri, was seemingly not opposed, leading to concerns of corrupt practices.

The dossier includes an excerpt from a letter dated January 26, which states, “A request was made through the Secretary Prof. Obert Jiri on the need for fertilizer as stated above. The Secretary did not object. May you facilitate that at least ninety metric tonnes of top dressing be delivered at Chipangayi Grain Marketing Board as soon as possible for application to crops which are now due for top dressing.”

Another dossier from January 12, 2024, reveals a letter from Zituta to Jiri requesting additional inputs, including tick grease, under the Presidential input support programs for Chipinge South Constituency.

“We kindly request the support of your Ministry under the Presidential input support programs for Chipinge South Constituency.

“As Zanu Pf Chipinge South Constituency, we are working tirelessly to empower our people through various programmes including this Rural Presidential Input Support,” reads the dossier.

The letter emphasizes the efforts of Zanu PF Chipinge South Constituency to empower the local population through various programs, including the Rural Presidential Input Support.

The ministry has a history marred by scandals, tracing back to the days of the late Kumbirai Kangai, who was involved in swindling the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) on an unprecedented scale.