Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Reveal source of US$20m, Mugabe told

Reveal source of US$20m, Mugabe told

03/11/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

COALITION parties have demanded that President Robert Mugabe explain the 
source of the US$20 million used to finance an agricultural input scheme the 
Zanu PF leader launched in Harare Saturday.

Said to have been financed by “well-wishers”, the scheme is expected to give 
free agriculture inputs to some 800,000 households across the country.

But the programme, launched as parties get into camapign mode for crucial 
elections next year, appears to have cheesed-off Zanu PF’s rival.

Senior MDC official and Education Minister, David Coltart said Mugabe should 
reveal the identity of ‘well-wishers” funding the scheme, adding it was 
surprising the Zanu PF leader could raise such amounts when the government 
could only find US$8 million for education this year.

“Zimbabweans have a right to know who the “well-wishers” are and where their 
money comes from. Is it clean? Parallel governance at its worst,” Coltart 
wrote on his Facebook wall.

“These are not small amounts of money. In context of total money allocated 
to education (US$8,1 million to date) this is a huge inputs fund.

“The source of the inputs fund may be legitimate but Zimbabweans will only 
know that if President is candid about its source. Transparency!”

Mugabe launched the scheme at his Zanu PF party’s headquarters in the 
capital, lending credence to claims by rivals that the programme was a 
campaign gimmick ahead of next year’s polls.

Zanu PF’s coalition partners accuse the party of skimming off revenues from 
Marange diamond mining to finance a “parallel government” as well as build a 
war chest for the elections.

Mugabe is insisting new polls must be held in March to end the shaky 
coalition government which he describes as unworkable and illegal.

And on Saturday, the Zanu PF leader was clearly in campaign mode, attacking 
the coalition administration and the MDC-T – which runs the Finance 
Ministry – for failing to fund agriculture, the mainstay of the country’s 

He said: “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?

“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.”
Zanu PF has accused Finance Minister Tendai Biti of failing to help 
re-capiltaise the Grain Market Board (GMB) resulting in farmers failing to 
be paid for grain deliveries. Mugabe also said fertiliser companies were 
threatening to “sabotage” the new agriculture season because they had not 
been paid for previous supplies.

“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,” Mugabe said.

“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.”

Finance Minister Tendai Biti has previously denied underfunding agriculture, 
insisting support for the sector has, in fact, increased over the tenure of 
the coalition administration.

And speaking at a pre-budget meeting in Victoria Falls Saturday, Biti he 
added: “Government will soon pay everything that it owes to farmers. Over 
the past few months Government has provided US$52 million.

“As of today, we are have paid US$20 million to seed and fertiliser 
companies and by the time we present the budget on November 15, we would 
have paid everything that we owe. We have also given US$5 million to 
Agribank for this sum­mer cropping season.”


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