By Leopold Munhende
THE Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has fingered Zanu PF officials and war veterans in rampant cases of the politicisation of agricultural inputs distributed under Pfumvudza, a government food-security programme.
In a report titled, Some Animals Are More Equal, ZPP argues Zanu PF ward chairpersons, councillors, activists and war veterans were forcing villagers to chant Zanu PF slogans in order to be considered for the public aid.
“ZPP recorded that in a significant number of places, Zanu PF local leaders such as ward chairpersons, councillors, activists or war veterans heavily influenced the distribution method, which left those accused of being non-supporters of Zanu PF excluded.
“In some cases, the distribution of what is supposed to be government aid and is meant for all deserving citizens, was conducted within a Zanu PF meeting setting, with beneficiaries being forced to chant Zanu PF slogans,” reads the report.
“In some instances, farmers only received 1kg of seed instead of the 5kg, which will impact on the size of the harvest.
“The line between the State and the ruling party should be respected and government programmes should benefit all the deserving beneficiaries in spite of their political, religious or any other affiliation.
“ZPP recommends that government should put in place measures such as the use of official government data, and not political party members’ lists when distributing aid in communities.”
Under the scheme, each household is supposed to receive enough input for three Pfumvudza plots measuring 16m by 39 m.
They are expected to have received a 50kg of basal dressing, 50kg of top dressing and traditional grain seeds for both oil seed and cereals during the onset of this year’s rains.
Communal farmers have been urged to prioritise two plots of maize and traditional grains while the third could be soya beans in high rainfall areas and sunflower in low rainfall regions.
Government is in the process of professionalising the Pfumvudza type of farming known as “Dhiga udye” in the Midlands area where it has been in use since time immemorial.