By Lawrence kabutu

A SENIOR Government official in the ministry of agriculture in Southern Province has sounded a stain warning to members of staff in the ministry not to get involved in shoddy deals relating to fertilizer under the Farmer Input support programme (FISP).

Southern Province Agricultural Coordinator Dr. Max Choombe sounded the warning when he opened a management meeting attended by District Agricultural Coordinators, Senior Agricultural Officers, District Marketing Development Officers and Executive Officers in Monze.

Dr. Choombe reminded members of staff that there have been officers who have been cited and imprisoned because of the FISP.

He warned the officers that if any one of them would be found wanting his office would not protect the officer stressing that the law shall take its course.

Dr. Choombe further implored staff in the province not to form cooperatives with a view to siphon inputs under the FISP programme.

He called on staff to ensure that the inputs under the FISP reach the intended beneficiaries the farmers.

And Dr. Choombe entreated the District Agricultural Coordinators in the Province to follow disciplinary procedures to the latter when meting out disciplinary actions to erring officers.

He noted that sub-warrant holders at district level should use the rules enshrined in the code that govern the civil service when handling disciplinary matters.

Dr. Choombe further beseeched staff to be wary of audit queries by following recommended guidelines.

He called on staff to be prudent with management of government resources for them not to attract audit queries.

Dr. Choombe said when audit queries have no responses they can escalate to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The objectives of the management meeting was to review performance of the first quarter, to develop the 5 year strategic plan for the ministry in the province, and Public Finance Management Act of 2018.

Others include to familiarise staff on government revenue collection and to capacity build staff of Human Resources issues that include, appointments and promotions, disciplinary procedures, confirmations, and types of separation, types of leave and procedures.

The management meeting was attended by participants drawn from all the 15 districts in the province that include, Kazungula, Livningstone, Zimba, Kalomo, Choma, Namwala, and Sinazongwe.

Others are Itezhi-tezhi, Monze, Gwembe, Mazabuka, Chikankata, Pemba, Siavonga, and Chirundu.