‘Bark­ing’ Moyo tongue lashed

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Zva­maida Mur­wira in HARARE and Africa Moyo in VIC­TO­RIA FALLS

FI­NANCE and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa yes­ter­day re­buked Higher and Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Jonathan Moyo over his at­tacks on Govern­ment’s Com­mand Agri­cul­ture Pro­gramme, equat­ing him to a bark­ing dog that would not de­rail the pro­gramme.

Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly Ad­vo­cate Ja­cob Mu­denda also be­rated Prof Moyo for giv­ing the im­pres­sion of pol­icy in­con­sis­tency through care­less state­ments with po­ten­tial to scare away in­vestors.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa made the re­marks dur­ing the Na­tional Assem­bly’s ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion, while re­spond­ing to a ques­tion from Zvimba West leg­is­la­tor Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi (Zanu-PF) who sought to know why Govern­ment was not pulling in one di­rec­tion over Com­mand Agri­cul­ture.

Harare East leg­is­la­tor Cde Ter­rence Mukupe (Zanu-PF) had also asked Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa to clar­ify on the fund­ing of Com­mand Agri­cul­ture given that some Govern­ment min­is­ters, es­pe­cially Prof Moyo, were go­ing on so­cial me­dia to at­tack the pro­gramme de­spite them be­ing part of de­lib­er­a­tions in Cabi­net.

“The fact that some peo­ple are not in agree­ment is a non-event when the pro­gramme is mov­ing well.

“Variku­taura imbwa dziri kuhukura,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa in ap­par­ent ref­er­ence to Prof Moyo who has re­lent­lessly slammed the Govern­ment food ini­tia­tive on Twit­ter.

Prof Moyo has been us­ing so­cial me­dia to den­i­grate the pro­gramme, call­ing it “com­mand

ugly cul­ture” de­spite him be­ing one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries at his farm in Mashona­land Cen­tral Prov­ince.

He re­port­edly ap­proached The Stan­dard news­pa­per last week with a story at­tack­ing Com­mand Agri­cul­ture, VP Mnan­gagwa and the pro­gramme’s fi­nancier, Sakunda Hold­ings, and re­port­edly as­sisted in the edit­ing of the story.

Com­man­der Zim­babwe De­fence Forces Gen­eral Con­stantino Chi­wenga, war veter­ans and po­lit­i­cal an­a­lysts have called for Prof Moyo’s cen­sure and urged him to re­sign if he does not agree with Govern­ment poli­cies.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions that were ini­tially re­luc­tant to fund the pro­gramme, had al­ready started com­ing on board, giv­ing more cre­dence to the pro­gramme.

“Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of that pro­gramme, we have be­gun to see com­mer­cial banks com­ing into play be­cause these in­puts must be paid up-front. Sakunda Hold­ings has started work­ing with these com­mer­cial banks which are CBZ, Bar­clays and an­other one. Those who fail to re­pay would je­or­padise their chances of get­ting sup­port in fu­ture,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa. He said the pro­gramme had ex­ceeded Govern­ment ex­pec­ta­tions de­spite some chal­lenges that were faced.

The lat­est crop as­sess­ment has re­vealed that over four mil­lion tonnes of food crops were har­vested against na­tional con­sump­tion of three mil­lion tonnes.

Chi­tung­wiza North Na­tional Assem­bly Mr God­frey Sithole (MDC-T), asked what cri­te­ria was used to se­lect Sakunda.

In re­sponse, Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said any per­son or fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion who was pre­pared to lend Govern­ment money at less than five per­cent in­ter­est rate and willing to be re­paid af­ter one year was free to par­tic­i­pate.

“We are go­ing to sup­port 1,8 mil­lion house­hold. We will also be go­ing on com­mand fish­ery, live­stock among oth­ers, soy­abeans among oth­ers,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa.

Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa said he had es­tab­lished a unit in his Min­istry to study the re­ports from Au­di­tor Gen­eral and de­ter­mine how to re­spond to rec­om­men­da­tions.

He was re­spond­ing to ques­tions from Glen No­rah MP Mr Web­ster Maon­dera (MDC-T), why there was no ac­tion be­ing taken against State en­ti­ties that vi­o­lated cor­po­rate gov­er­nance pro­ce­dures.

“I pre­fer that we get a draft of the Au­di­tor’s re­port and then we can com­ment. We did not have the ap­pa­ra­tus to read the re­port. It was only pres­sure from the public ac­counts com­mit­tee that we put up a unit to study the re­port,” said Min­is­ter Chi­na­masa.

Speak­ing dur­ing his con­tri­bu­tion on the role of Par­lia­ment in “the new nor­mal econ­omy” at the on­go­ing Zim­babwe Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce (ZNCC) an­nual congress in Vic­to­ria Falls, Adv Mu­denda said it was un­for­tu­nate that some se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials were com­plicit in sti­fling the free-flow of for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment into the coun­try.

Po­ten­tial and ex­ist­ing in­vestors have pre­vi­ously com­plained that pol­icy in­con­sis­tency, es­pe­cially at top Govern­ment level, was cen­tral to the coun­try’s fail­ure to lure mean­ing­ful in­vestors when re­gional peers, es­pe­cially Mozam­bique and Zam­bia, were get­ting bil­lions in FDI.

“There are talks about dis­cord in pol­icy,” said Adv Mu­denda.

“The re­cent one is on Com­mand Agri­cul­ture. Some peo­ple from the same Ex­ec­u­tive had sar­cas­ti­cally crit­i­cised that pol­icy of pro­duc­tion in agri­cul­ture.

“What mes­sage does this say to the out­side world? Wrong sig­nals as if to say we do not know what we are do­ing. When you drum drums, peo­ple dance to that tune and in Zim­babwe when our Govern­ment an­nounces eco­nomic poli­cies, Par­lia­ment, as rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the elec­torate ex­pects con­sis­tency in pol­icy pro­nounce­ments.

“Not only that, but also con­sis­tency in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of those poli­cies. Let us dance to the same tune of mu­sic if we are to achieve a ‘new nor­mal’ in our econ­omy.”

Adv Mu­denda urged in­dus­tri­al­ists not to be silent when Govern­ment of­fi­cials were caus­ing pol­icy di­vi­sions. “Speak out and say ‘this is wrong’. We do not want peo­ple say­ing dis­cord when we have been mov­ing to­gether in one di­rec­tion,” he said.

Adv Mu­denda warned that those bent on fo­ment­ing pol­icy dis­cord should ex­pect a re­sponse, mainly from the elec­torate.

“Those so hit­ting the drums, ex­pect the dancers to re­spond to the melody of the drum,” he said. “In this case, those who re­spond are in two cat­e­gories - the elec­torate that put us into Govern­ment and ob­vi­ously the peo­ple from out­side the coun­try - those that want to bring for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment.

“We want to hear one melody, one bass.”

— (Pic­ture by Be­lieve Nyakud­jara)

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe bids farewell to Zim­babwe De­fence Forces Com­man­der Gen­eral Con­stantino Gu­veya Chi­wenga, while Ma­jor-Gen­eral Dou­glas Nyika­yaramba looks on at Harare In­ter­na­tional Air­port yes­ter­day be­fore de­part­ing for Botswana for the burial of former Botswana pres­i­dent Sir Ke­tu­mile’s fu­neral. — (See story on Page 2).

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