Un­pack­ing flawed ‘Com­mand in­sur­gency’

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion & Analysis - Bernard Bwoni Cor­re­spon­dent

BLANK shots aimed at Gov­ern­ment’s Spe­cial Maize Pro­gramme for Im­port Sub­sti­tu­tion, also known as Com­mand Agri­cul­ture, are coun­ter­pro­duc­tive and def­i­nitely not go­ing to im­prove the al­ready long suf­fer­ing peo­ple’s mis­for­tunes.

Yes very true, the case for free­dom of speech and ex­pres­sion is ev­i­dent and granted un­der our Con­sti­tu­tion.

There is no writ­ten law any­where that says Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is im­mune to scru­tiny or crit­i­cism.

That in fact is al­lowed and catered for in our in­ter and in­tra-party democ­racy.

It is how­ever, reck­less and care­less for mem­bers of the same team to score a win­ning goal and then en­gage in fist fights as stylish cel­e­bra­tions.

There is some­thing clearly wrong and counter-in­tu­itive about the un­abated at­tacks on the highly suc­cess­ful Com­mand Agri­cul­ture Pro­gramme.

This is a Gov­ern­ment suc­cess story not an in­di­vid­ual achieve­ment. This is a pro­gramme that is wor­thy laud­ing for it feeds the na­tion and keeps our si­los full for to­mor­row.

The public out­rage by some se­nior min­is­ters against Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is wor­ri­some to say the least.

The as­sump­tion is that this at­tack is rooted in some sort of al­tru­ism, a dis­in­ter­ested and self­less con­cern for Zim­babwe, but that is just too hard to be­lieve when such a defin­ing pro­gramme is given names like “Com­mand Ugly-Cul­ture”.

It would ap­pear that this moral out­rage against Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is a mere func­tion of self-in­ter­est, if not a de­struc­tive streak.

The as­sault on Com­mand Agri­cul­ture by mem­bers of the team that came up with the idea is dif­fi­cult at the same time easy to un­der­stand.

Are we play­ing games or there are gen­uine con­cerns or points against the pro­gramme rather than per­sonal tantrums?

Who stands to ben­e­fit from the scathing at­tack against Com­mand Agri­cul­ture? The bot­tom line is that Zim­babwe has a bumper crop this sea­son. Ev­ery­thing else is hol­low noise from empty bot­tles. There surely is noth­ing ugly about a fed na­tion.

This “com­mand un­pleas­ant­ness” to­wards the highly suc­cess­ful Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is di­vi­sive and pos­si­bly de­vi­ous. There is no other way of look­ing at it from where I am stand­ing. Here is a pro­gramme that is clearly a com­po­nent of the Food Se­cu­rity clus­ter of the Gov­ern­ment’s ZIM-AS­SET pro­gramme. The pro­gramme is bear­ing fruits and as mem­bers of the same team, there should be cel­e­bra­tions and a feel­ing of tri­umph.

But the only fo­cus has been mud thrown at the pro­gramme. This does not make any sense one bit.

How does pub­licly throw­ing mud at each other go­ing to ad­dress the is­sues that are per­ti­nent to peo­ple’s ev­ery­day lives?

Why knock a suc­cess­ful Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive that has been the most suc­cess­ful in a long time?

This is very dis­ap­point­ing. To­tally dis­heart­en­ing.

This is not to sug­gest that Cabi­net min­is­ters can’t ex­press their opin­ions or dis­plea­sure against Com­mand Agri­cul­ture, but the in­ces­sant public as­sault on the pro­gramme is clearly con­fus­ing.

Why not raise these con­cerns in Cabi­net not via so­cial me­dia? The in­con­sis­ten­cies with which there is with Gov­ern­ment does not bring any con­fi­dence or bode well with any­one look­ing to in­vest or do busi­ness in the coun­try. Why par­take in a pro­gramme you so loathe?

The in­con­sis­tency is bla­tant when Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe was busy laud­ing the pro­gramme in Mutare last week when he ad­dressed the youth, and the next day a Cabi­net min­is­ter comes out pub­licly dis­cred­it­ing the pro­gramme.

What mes­sage is be­ing con­veyed here? It wouldn’t be far-fetched to con­clude that is a re­bel­lion against the Pres­i­dent and the party surely.

If in dis­agree­ment with the Gov­ern­ment pro­gramme, then surely why stay in the same Gov­ern­ment that im­ple­ments pro­grammes that you are against? Why not raise these con­cerns up at Polit­buro or Cen­tral Com­mit­tee level?

Why not tell the Pres­i­dent di­rectly that there is some­thing un­to­ward about Com­mand Agri­cul­ture? Why not ad­vise the Pres­i­dent to stop prais­ing the pro­gramme and mis­lead­ing the na­tion by con­tin­u­ing to say Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is a suc­cess story when it is not? This will def­i­nitely bring fi­nal­ity to the whole dis­torted and in­con­sis­tent procla­ma­tions surely.

If Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is lead­ing the coun­try to­wards na­tional self-suf­fi­ciency and food se­cu­rity, then even the op­po­si­tion should be laud­ing the pro­gramme, let alone its im­ple­menters.

The op­po­si­tion against Com­mand Agri­cul­ture is not mak­ing any sense what­so­ever.

It is ap­par­ent that Com­mand Agri­cul­ture was en­dorsed by Cabi­net, and that in­cludes the two min­is­ters named above.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion phase came and none of these shenani­gans were heard.

Now that the pro­gramme has started bear­ing fruits, this is when all the com­mo­tion starts.

This is what is caus­ing the con­fu­sion and peo­ple com­ing up with all sorts of con­clu­sions.

This needs to be ad­dressed so that it does not con­tinue to cor­rode the great work this Gov­ern­ment is do­ing. ZANU-PF is that big­ger pic­ture built on the col­lec­tive strength of the peo­ple.

The rev­o­lu­tion­ary rul­ing party is way big­ger than in­signif­i­cant and ir­rel­e­vant per­sonal squab­bles.

The bot­tom line is that Zim­babwe has a bumper crop this sea­son, ev­ery­thing else is hol­low noise from empty bot­tles

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