Sunday, November 04, 2012

'Don't Lie Using My Name,' Says Zimbabwe President Mugabe

Don’t lie using my name — President

Saturday, 03 November 2012 20:28
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

President Mugabe has castigated peo­ple who lie using his name, saying Zanu-PF does not follow what the “President wants” but follows what the people want.

The President made the remarks yesterday at Zanu-PF headquar­ters as he unveiled an estimated US$20 million farming package for the 2012-2013 agricultural season that will see over 800 000 households accessing free inputs.

“There are those who will be using my name in issues that I would not have discussed with them, going to the people to say that is what the Pres­ident wants. We do not want what the President wants, (but) we want what the people want. If a person comes (to you) saying that is what the President wants, tell them you are lying,” said the President.

The Presidential Well-wishers’ Spe­cial Agricultural Inputs Scheme, which received tremendous support from many stakeholders, has been packaged into three schemes to bene­fit farmers based on the natural farm­ing regions they are settled.

In the first scheme, farmers will get a 10kg bag of seed maize and a 25kg bag of ammonium nitrate (AN) fer­tiliser, while the second package con­sists of 10kg seed cotton and 25kg AN.

President Mugabe said the third package consists of 5kg bags of groundnut, millet, sorghum and cow­pea seeds.

Farmers in Matabeleland region would receive dipping chemicals and other livestock supplements.

Addressing hundreds of Zanu-PF mem­bers, the President castigated Finance Minis­ter Tendai Biti and the MDC formations for doing little to support agriculture.
He also took a swipe at some fertiliser com­panies that sought to derail the input scheme.
“This animal (inclusive Government) wants to eat, but when we say the food comes from farming, the other side (MDC) says they are inca­pable, but the Zanu-PF side continues to say we should farm, we should get inputs. How is this animal supposed to survive? How is the nation supposed to survive? Are you (MDC) not getting this message?” said Presi­dent Mugabe.

“They say we don’t have money, but they are the ones in charge of the Finance Ministry. Hatina mari, hatina mari. Saka hatina mari, hatina mari, ihurumende yerudziyi? Hatina mari, naizvozvo hatina fertiliser, naizvozvo hatigone kurima. If it were a Zanu-PF Gov­ernment without these other partners, do you think you can tell that to the people? A gov­ernment can dare not say we have no money to give people to grow food for the country. We can’t say that. We must have the capacity even to borrow. No government does without borrowing from others.”

President Mugabe said while the MDC was demonstrating its unwillingness to fund agri­culture, some fertiliser companies had joined the bandwagon to “sabotage” the 2012-2013 agricultural season.

“Help is coming from seed companies who have been able to grow the seed through the help of contract farmers. The fertiliser pro­ducers do not have the fertilisers (and) it is not because they are failing to produce the fertiliser, but they have folded their arms say­ing the Govern­ment should first pay for sup­plies that we gave it last year,” said the Presi­dent. “They are saying we do not have money to continue production. Besides, if our credit has not been repaid, what good is it to supply more fertiliser? That is the way they have seen it.”

President Mugabe called for transparency in the distribution of the farming inputs and underscored the need to prioritise needy cases dur­ing allocation of the inputs.

He said as farmers busy themselves in the fields, there was a need to remember elections were around the corner.

President Mugabe said there was hope to have a referendum before the end of the year and Zanu-PF would give its position on the draft constitution next week.

“But whether we have a new constitution or do not have it, the elections will come and come in March next year,” said Presi­dent Mugabe, amid deafening whistling and ululation from the crowd.

“So prepare yourself for those elections if you are an MP now.

“I saw in the papers that the MPs want a pension. I have never heard that MPs get a pension. There is no pension in Parliament. If you are thinking of a pen­sion, are you not standing again next year? You are MPs, go and face the people once again.”

President Mugabe reiterated that Zanu-PF would not tolerate the imposition of can­didates and violence in the forthcoming elec­tions.

The Presidential Well-wishers’ Special Agri­cultural Inputs Scheme was fist launched dur­ing the 2008-2009 agricultural season when US$3 million inputs were availed.

During the 2009-2010 season, inputs with a value of about US$9,7 million were parcelled out to over 190 000 households.

The scheme has been growing each season with 570 beneficiaries during the 2010-2011 farming period and last season 712 400 households received inputs worth US$15 mil­lion. The programme is part of President Mugabe’s support for agriculture which makes up 15 percent of Zimbabwe’s gross domestic product, 40 percent of national exports earnings while contributing 60 per­cent of raw materials for industries and a source of livelihood for 70 percent of the rural population.

The inputs launch programme was attended by senior Zanu-PF members, rep­resentatives from the party’s organs, seed houses, fertiliser companies and banks.

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