By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
A ZANU PF affiliate organisation, Farmers for Economic Development (Farmers4ED) has vowed to maintain a presence on the country’s body politick and defend President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s legacy.
The organisation pledged support for Mnangagwa following its nomination for an excellence award from Legacy TV, another Zanu PF-linked project.
On December 2, 2023, Farmers4ED will receive the Perence Shiri Hurudza Legacy Award at the Legacy Empowerment Awards 2023 event.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Farmers4ED National Chairman, Tapiwa Chitate, was ecstatic about the recognition, saying his organisation remains committed to ensuring food self-sufficiency and guarding against Mnangagwa’s detractors and that of the Second Republic.
“We are excited to be recognised for championing agricultural production and pushing the agenda to produce adequate food stocks for our people. As Farmers4ED we will remain resolute in support of President Mnangagwa’s vision and defend his legacy.
“There has been a tremendous transformation in the agricultural sector where we have witnessed a surplus in wheat production, cattle artificial insemination to build the national herd, dam construction to boost irrigation infrastructure, among other developments, and we owe this to the President’s astute leadership,” said Chitate, a Mnangagwa loyalist.
Although the quantum of monetary rewards that the association is poised to get was unclear by the time of publishing, sources close to the event, which is celebrating its third anniversary, winners stand to reap huge with Mnangagwa reportedly set to dole out vehicles to capacitate his foot soldiers.
According to a communication from Legacy TV Executive Director, Pardon Mangwende, addressed to Farmers4ED, the Zanu PF affiliate is being recognised for its “efforts in rural industrialisation and your contributions in mobilising farmers to vote for Zanu PF and President ED Mnangagwa in the 2023 harmonised elections.”
The accolade was coined to celebrate the life of the late Agriculture minister, Perence Shiri, also known as Bigboy Samson Chikerema during the liberation struggle. Once commander Airforce of Zimbabwe (AFZ) before his retirement as Air Chief Marshall, Shiri was later appointed minister and contributed towards the nationalistic agenda on food security through Pfumbvudza/ Intwasa and Command Agriculture.
Farmers4ED remains one of the Zanu PF affiliates still maintaining a presence after others have gone into oblivion such as Young Women 4ED, VaPostori for ED, Mahwindi4ED, Rastas4ED, Single Women4ED, Footballers4ED, Lawyers 4ED, Miners Forum 4ED and Teachers for ED.
Some of the groups, which emerged ahead of August 23 and 24 polls, have either disbanded or gone underground after overshadowing Zanu PF structures in the lead-up to the August polls to campaign for Mnangagwa’s re-election.
One of the first groups to emerge was Young Women4ED led by Tatenda Mavetere, who was rewarded by appointment as Information and Communication Technology minister.
In Zanu PF, the affiliates were viewed as Mnangagwa’s parallel structures to hedge himself against a protest vote after allegedly imposing his allies as candidates during the party’s parliamentary and council primary elections.