Fertiliser saga: Pazvakavambwa declines to sing after dismissal

Augustine Mukaro



DISMISSED Agriculture permanent secretary Simon Pazvakavambwa yesterday remained mum over the fertiliser sa

ga, despite threatening to spill the beans if he was fired.


The importation of inferior fertiliser, which sparked clashes between Ministry of Agriculture officials and the Reserve Bank, claimed Pazvakavambwa as its first victim when he was relieved of his duties on Wednesday.


Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda announced the sacking of Pazvakavambwa on Wednesday.


President Robert Mugabe proceeded to appoint Shadreck Sariri Mlambo as Agriculture permanent secretary with immediate effect.


Contacted for comment on his dismissal, Pazvakavambwa said he would not run his life through the press.


“I have a very secure and happy future,” Pazvakavambwa said. “I cannot run my life through the press, so I will not comment on this development. Why don’t you wait and watch the developments as they come?”


Pazvakavambwa appears to have been used as a scapegoat for a botched deal in the importation and distribution of sub-standard fertiliser to farmers through a Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe facility.


Of the 70 000 tonnes imported, 8 000 were deemed to be of inferior quality.

Correspondence made public as the fertiliser saga unfolded showed that Pazvakavambwa authorised the release of the consignment to the Grain Marketing Board and its subsequent distribution to farmers on July 26.


In an analytical report to the GMB general manager, Pazvakavambwa said results from tests carried out on the inferior fertiliser were within the acceptable range.


Sources said Pazvakavambwa’s dismissal was endorsed after a National Economic Recovery Council (Nerc) meeting two weeks ago at which Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono clashed with several ministers, including Economic Development minister Rugare Gumbo, Deputy Finance minister David Chapfika and Industry and International Trade permanent secretary Christian Katsande, who accused him of making arbitrary decisions.


Vice-President Joice Mujuru chaired the meeting at which Gono was attacked. He later stormed out of the meeting, according to reports.


Pazvakavambwa is being accused of trying to distance himself from the importation of inferior fertiliser from South Africa when he toured and tested samples of the product at the Intshona workshop in South Africa. He was also accused of failing to issue import permits on time.


Gono and Made were set to appear before a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture this week to answer questions on how the fertiliser was imported.

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