‘Stop arresting farmers mixing crops in farms’

03Jan 2022
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
‘Stop arresting farmers mixing crops in farms’

LIVESTOCK and Fisheries Minister, Mashimba Ndaki, has warned wards executive officers in Maswa District, Simiyu Region to stop at once the habit of arresting and detaining cotton farmers who mix the crop with maize in one field.

LIVESTOCK and Fisheries Minister, Mashimba Ndaki

Speaking at different times at public meetings last Saturday in Gumali and Masala villages, he said the practice has created discomfort and apprehension in the district.

The minister, who is also MP for Maswa West, said the Simiyu regional authorities starting with RC David Kafulila have stated that farmers who mix the crops in one field should not be bothered.

District officials have been taking measures like uprooting the maize or arresting the farmers, while regional officials say that the region experienced little rains in the season, thus the crop mixing efforts.

Discomfort and apprehension were rife in the region, with Maswa District, in particular, pushing the minister to make an unscheduled visit to the area to listen to farmers’ complaints, where he was told that some ward executive officers threaten to arrest farmers mixing crops in their farms, insinuating that those officers want bribes disguised as penalties.

He vowed to deal with ward executive officers proved to have committed that offence, by taking disciplinary and even legal against them, underlining that President Samia Suluhu Hassan is not in a position to lead a country of citizens living in fear of spurious arrest by government officials.

Farmers were being threatened with paying upwards of 50,000/- to avoid arrest for mixing crops in their farms, the minister noted, demanding a full report on the government officials involved in the misconduct.