Govt to pay for grain at collection points: Dr Masuka

By Wellington Makonese

THE government has reaffirmed its commitment to pay for grain deliveries on time, with payments being made at collection points.

This Wednesday’s Question and Answer Session in the National Assembly saw legislators quizzing the government over the payment modalities for grain after the announcement of new incentives in United States dollars.

“Our pricing policy is agreed on the cost price, fertiliser cost 32 percent of overall production and we can’t look at the import price, cost incurred by farmers is local and foreign currency hence the payment model but we are open to suggestions to incentivise. For the first time we are paying farmers on the go at the point of delivery,” said Dr Anxious Masuka, Minister of Lands, Agriculture Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

Other legislators questioned the benefits of the Pomona Waste to Energy Project with the acting leader of government business, Professor Amon Murwira clarifying the terms of the deal.

“The local authority works under the ministry, it was approved, the council approved and ZIDA, it has gone through all the public processes, if we are aggrieved there are processes, we believe can clean up and we have to work on it with national interest,” he said.

With Hwange Power Station generating only 350 megawatts against a capacity of 900 megawatts, Energy and Power Development Minister Honourable Zhemu Soda outlined power expansion projects in place to reduce electricity constraints.

“Internal power generation capacity is constrained, but we are doing Rehabilitation, we got a loan facility from India worth 310 million to rehabilitate and get capacity back of 920mw. We are to Upgrade Kariba to 300. Hwange is being expanded by 2more units by November this year. Deregulation of policy to participate in power generation is also on,” he said.

The issue of land barons and unprocedural allocation of stands was also interrogated in the August house.