HARARE – Government has pledged zero tolerance to partisan distribution of farming inputs currently underway throughout the country amid complaints by opposition MDC supporters that the programme excluded them in parts of Mashonaland East.
Last week the ex-majority party accused the ruling Zanu PF of using the distribution of presidential inputs to communal farmers by government for this year’s cropping season to punish perceived MDC supporters in Mudzi and Mutoko districts.
Party provincial spokesperson Graham Nyahada told the Daily News yesterday that his party’s supporters and those of independent lawmaker Jonathan Samukange were last Sunday denied inputs by Mudzi North member of the House of Assembly Milton Kachepa.
Nyahada alleged that Kachepa said the inputs were meant for the ruling party supporters only.
“Kachepa is leading the distribution of inputs here in Mudzi and Mutoko but he is denying our supporters to access them.
“Samukange’s supporters are not being spared either as they (Zanu PF) openly denounced them at Dzivarasekwa Business Centre in Mudzi South where inputs were being distributed.
“He told them they were not to be considered for the inputs yet this is supposed to be government aid which should be accessed by everyone regardless of political affiliation,” said Nyahada.
While Kachepa was not available for comment, minister of State for Mashonaland East Simbaneuta Mudarikwa however, said it was not government policy to discriminate against citizens or denying them access to any kind of government support.
Mudarikwa, who is also Uzumba Constituency member of the House of Assembly told dozens of villagers who were mainly Zanu PF supporters at Mutawatawa Growth Point in Uzumba Maramba Pfungwe (UMP) last Sunday, that local leaders should ensure that every household has access to the inputs provided to communal farmers by government.
“The inputs that are coming your way are from the President and they must be accessed by all. We are not looking at whether one is MDC or Zanu PF, so those whom we have tasked with the distribution must bear that in mind,” Mudarikwa said.
“When we voted for president (Robert Mugabe) it was one man one vote, nobody voted twice to make it two votes hence nobody should ever get more than others,” he added.
Mudarikwa took time to acknowledge that despite voting overwhelmingly for Mugabe in the July 31 harmonised elections, UMP remains a forgotten hamlet in terms of development, particularly in the education sector.
He expressed fear that the continued marginalisation of the district would expose the party as hypocrites if they did not move with speed to address the anomaly.
“Government understands that we are one of the districts lagging behind when it comes to development.
“We do not have a single government school here in the district with only one boarding school.
“We are seriously looking into that area as well as the provision of water in Mutawatawa.
“Our enemies are always around to see where we go wrong, waiting to write negative things about us, so we must be vigilant.
“We need to work on a programme to harness water from Saparanyambuya Dam because the dam we are currently relying on tends to dry up during the summer,” he said.