Mat South chiefs ap­peal for cat­tle un­der Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

CHIEFS from Matabeleland South have ap­pealed to the Govern­ment to be al­lo­cated cat­tle un­der the Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme.

Speak­ing dur­ing a Com­mand Live­stock dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gramme in Gwanda re­cently, Chief Khu­lumani Math­ema of Wen­lock told Min­is­ter of Lands, Agri­cul­ture, Wa­ter, Cli­mate and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment, Re­tired Chief Air Mar­shal Per­rence Shiri that the wel­fare of chiefs should be con­sid­ered in on­go­ing eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes.

Govern­ment launched the Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme in Matabeleland South and North Provinces in a bid to em­power farm­ers and boost beef pro­duc­tion in the coun­try.

“As chiefs our ap­peal to you Min­is­ter is that we also ben­e­fit from the Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme.

“There have been sev­eral dis­tri­bu­tions of live­stock within the province and in all of them the chiefs have been left out.

“It’s not proper for chiefs to lead a wealthy and well-re­sourced com­mu­nity while they them­selves are poor.

“Peo­ple will de­spise us and not give us the re­spect we need which will even­tu­ally make our task of lead­ing them dif­fi­cult.

“It’s im­per­a­tive that our wel­fare is also con­sid­ered and we ben­e­fit from var­i­ous eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes that are be­ing im­ple­mented,” he said.

Chief Bango from Mangwe District said he also saw it fit for the Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme to ben­e­fit chiefs as well.

He said at times Govern­ment over­looked the wel­fare of chiefs yet they played a cru­cial role in the com­mu­nity.

He said it was im­por­tant for chiefs to ben­e­fit when­ever com­mu­ni­ties were ben­e­fit­ing.

In re­sponse, Rtd Chief Air Mar­shal Shiri said he will take the mat­ter up for dis­cus­sion. He as­sured the chiefs that Govern­ment is con­cerned with their wel­fare.

He handed over 347 heifers to 92 farm­ers in Matabeleland South Province.

He urged farm­ers to fully utilise agri­cul­tural pro­grammes that were be­ing cre­ated by the Govern­ment.

He said the Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme would soon in­cor­po­rate other schemes that in­clude dairy cat­tle, pig­gery, goats, sheep and poultry.

Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Wa­ter, Cli­mate and Ru­ral Re­set­tle­ment Matabeleland South pro­vin­cial crops and live­stock spe­cial­ist, Mr Mkhun­julelwa Ndlovu said this was the fourth dis­tri­bu­tion of heifers since the pro­gramme was launched early this year.

He said 9 253 farm­ers across the province were reg­is­tered un­der the pro­gramme. Mr Ndlovu said since the in­cep­tion of the pro­gramme 1 738 cat­tle had been dis­trib­uted ben­e­fit­ing 435 peo­ple.

The Com­mand Live­stock Pro­gramme was launched in Matabeleland South Province in Fe­bru­ary in In­siza by Vice-Pres­i­dent Gen­eral Con­statino Chi­wenga (Re­tired).

@DubeMatutu

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