The newly-elected board of directors of the National Congress of the Zambian National Farmers Union (ZNFU) has expressed its commitment to transformation, after the recent scandals and series of misfortunes that have rocked the organisation.
According to the latest ZNFU statement, the union will be headed by Mr Jervis Zimba, who was elected as president at the annual congress held, last week, in Lusaka. Zimba served as president for five terms, before stepping down in 2013.
“To those ZNFU may have battled or offended during these trying moments, I ask that you find it within yourselves to bear with us. It is only because we love our union so deeply, and care so strongly about the agricultural sector that we may have had differences. Let’s join hands and move Zambian agriculture to the next level,” said Zimba during his opening speech.
According to Zimba the new board must now focus on resolving outstanding issues, and restoring relationships with its partners to “reclaim the ZNFU’s rightful position, reputation and influence, at home, in the region, and globally”.
The organisation wishes to achieve its goals through strong corporate governance, and a restructuring programme to ensure an efficient, transparent and accountable secretariat.
Zimba takes up his position after the previous president, Dr Evelyn Nguleka, and executive director, Ndambo Ndambo, were arrested in September and charged with fraud and money laundering. Dr Nguleka and Ndambo resigned from their posts.
Ms Miriam Mbazima and Mr Fisho Mwale will serve as commodity directors; Mr Austin Shinachize and Mr Elico Spyron are the small- scale and large-scale area directors respectively; Mr Dave Gordon and Mr Wayne Wiid are directors of corporate affairs, and agribusiness respectively. M. Doreen Mwanza is to serve as director of women farmers, and Askok Oza will act as the union’s trustee.
The first and second vice-presidents will be chosen when the board meets again.