It’s unfortunate that the 2020/2021 Presidential Cotton Free inputs were sent to  the various Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) depots for onward disbursement to farmers ahead of the forthcoming agricultural season before the payments of the last season were completed.

The Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO), which is mandated to spearhead the Presidential Cotton Free Inputs Scheme, worked round the clock to ensure timeous delivery of inputs as per government directive but with fatal results.

It emerged that the cotton managers across the Gokwe Town’s Growth Points under the Gokwe Motmate Designs manipulated the above for their advantage.

A visit by My Gokwe Media to the Zhomba Community served by the Zhomba Deport revealed some corrupt tendencies by the manager and his co-workmates.

It seems the Manager instructed some people to work (weeding) in his field so that he will give them the remaining groceries.

According to disappointed farmers, they have not yet received their groceries and inputs which are part of the payment for last year cotton deliveries.

Last year, Cottco failed to pay farmers in cash or even the electronic one, owing to the suspension of EcoCash and scarcity of hard cash (Bond). As a result, the cotton giant resorted to groceries, building materials and other domestic assets like grinding mills as payment to farmers.

Sibanda who spoke to My Gokwe Media complained that he is still waiting for the delivery of his building material.

I applied for this building material through the Unique Superette run by Farai. He is still telling us that the Cottco Company is yet to pay him so that he deliver our goods yet we delivered cotton before June last year.  My house needs to be roofed, I don’t have option and I’m sharing a single room with my children who are at the secondary school level by now. It’s very disappointing” said Sibanda.

Sibanda was thankful of the people who spilled the beans leading to the summoning of the manager.

I got rumours that he is under arrest for corruption. He let people work in his field so that he pays them their groceries secretly. He rented a piece of land from Village Head Sibalwa next to the late Mr Choga’s field. The farm is located at the back of Cottco and Cargil companies” he said.

Some farmers especially maize farmers expressed their sympathy to the manager. They too benefited from the decision by the government for early disbursement of inputs.

“We are no more as well. He will not fall alone. However, we are assured that he will rise again even if he has fallen. We were beneficiaries to his shenanigans which mark our end as well. They availed the fertilizer to the farmers and these farmers and some of the workers would sell these fertilizers to us and we apply onto our maize. It’s really painful to us” said Mr Dliwayo who is also a local farmer.

It is said that since the summoning of the manager, inputs in the outlying depots were collected back to the Main Depot.

A man who spoke to My Gokwe Media revealed that an employee from a Zhomba Point had nearly 10 personal bags confiscated in her absence.

She lives at the Mareka village. They arrived at her Shop. We heard her shopkeeper complaining that she had gone home and said the bags belonged to her not the company. Unfortunately, they ignored all that and loaded the bags and drove off. It seems things are not in good order and they are now beyond limits,” he said.

The workers who spoke to My Gokwe Media refused to comment saying they were not free to do so.

However, some of them confessed that it’s true such things used to happen but they were not aware of the new developments.

As a developing story, My Gokwe Media will follow the events closely and keep you updated.

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