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Mnangagwa admits Zanu PF abuse of state resources
30/12/2016 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Emmerson Mnangagwa
 
RELATED STORIES

ACTING President Emmerson Mnangagwa has let the cat out of the bag, admitting the Zanu PF led government has been distributing farming inputs as a vote buying gimmick.

Mnangagwa, one of the country’s two vice presidents, was speaking during a tour of farms in Mashonaland Central Thursday to assess the progress of government’s Command Agriculture scheme.

But in his comments, Mnangagwa all but confirmed what Zanu PF opponents have always accused their main rival of doing; abusing state resources to reinforce its hold on power.

“We used to give you (farmers) inputs so you could vote for us, but this time you will vote for us and we will follow up on our inputs.

Tanga tajaira kukupai zvinhu tisingateverere kuti mutivhotere. Iko zvino toti mutivhotere tichikuteverererayi (We used to shower you with inputs without bothering to follow up because we wanted your votes. This time we will ask you to vote for us first then we come for you).”

Mnangagwa was directing his comments at party loyalists who benefitted from the government scheme who he was urging to deliver the required five tonnes per hectare to government as part of the deal after being provided with inputs by government.

Zanu PF’s empowerment schemes have been mired in controversy with most beneficiaries often failing to pay back with no consequences.

Meanwhile, ordinary Zimbabweans have been stampeded to repay the debts which have accrued through the patronage schemes.

The biggest scandal has been the $1,35 billion Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) debt which surged when the central bank invaded private bank accounts 2007 to buy farm implements for distribution to Zanu PF loyalists.

Zanu PF later used its parliamentary majority to bulldoze through the RBZ Debt Assumption Act which compelled tax payers to inherit the debt.

During his tour, took the moment as acting president to warn senior army officers and some top civil servants against grabbing farming inputs as the expense of less influential small scale farmers.

“Command farming is a command,” Mnangagwa said.

“You should follow instructions, for instance, army officials receive commands. If you are told to turn left, you turn left and not right. If you do not follow commands, you will be dealt with.”



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Mnangagwa leads a Zanu PF faction that is angling to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

His comments could be perceived as directed at the army top brass that has apparently refused to support his subtle bid for presidency, top among them Air Force Commander Air Marshal Perrence Shiri who was part of the delegation.

Mnangagwa said when the scheme started, some beneficiaries indicated they had capacity to collect inputs from Harare but were abusing their positions to grab all the inputs from district stations to the disadvantage of less privileged small scale farmers.

Some people are taking advantage of their positions to collect inputs. We strongly warn anyone doing so to desist from such behaviour.

“Chefs should respect other farmers. At the end of the day these farmers may be queuing for a few bags. It is better to let those with small quantities first. They should not be denied inputs.


 
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