In a show of brazen betrayal for Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s hopes for the rescusitation of the agrarian sector, farmers in Gokwe have reportedly diverted agricultural inputs from the office of the 79-year-old leader into the parallel market.

According to Farmers 4ED chairperson, Tapiwa Chitate, at least 50 tonnes of cotton inputs that were provided under the presidential input scheme have found their way into the thriving black market in Gokwe.

Chitate, who was speaking during the launch of farmers’ clubs in Mnangagwa’s hometown of Kwekwe recently, said it was worrisome that some of the inputs were being sold for as paltry as US$6 per kg.

“I received disturbing news in Gokwe in terms of presidential inputs, we understand the President gave farmers some cotton inputs. I saw on the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) website that these unscrupulous farmers diverted 50 tonnes of seeds onto the black market.

“We gathered that they were selling the inputs for a song, they were selling the inputs at US$6 per kg. What we have been given we must utilise as such actions are counterproductive,” one online edition quoted Chitate as saying.

Since October this year, COTTCO, which has been muddled by graft allegations in recent months, had been distributing seeds, fertiliser and chemicals to farmers.

Mnangagwa’s Government last July mooted plans to takeover the entity in the wake of graft allegations that resulted in the suspension of managing director Pious Manamike and marketing manager Maxmore Njani.

“Police and other security services have intensified monitoring and security of the inputs and distribution, movements to Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depots and accountability by all official; as and community members involved in the scheme,” the police said.