Sakunda Holdings which is owned by Kudakwashe Tagwirei, an alleged ally of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has denied receiving US$3 billion for the Command Agriculture Programme between 2016 and 2019.
Appearing before the Tendai Biti-led Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to answer to allegations that his organisation could not account for US$3 billion it received from the central bank, Sakunda Holdings chief operations officer Charles Chitambo said:
We only got US$1,010 billion between June 2016 and May 2019 and it did not come in one instalment. The US$3 billion was for other programmes including the presidential input scheme.
There were reports suggesting that the company misused the money. This comes when the country has a huge shortage in mealie-meal prompting others to say that the US$3 billion could have helped the country head off starvation.
The 2019/20 rainy season was also poor causing and that means starvation will linger for a little longer unless there are some interventions.
Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector, like other sectors, has been underperforming since the turn of the millennium when the country embarked on the fast track land reform programme.
The programme coincided with climate change which has resulted in natural disasters including floods, cyclones and droughts.