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Arrest Command Agric abusers, VP tells police

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Arrest Command Agric abusers, VP tells police President-designate Comrade Emmerson D. Mnangagwa
VP Mnangagwa

VP Mnangagwa

From Walter Nyamukondiwa in KADOMA—
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged the police to arrest corrupt elements like middlemen and officials abusing the Command Agriculture programme. VP Mnangagwa said the police should enforce Statutory Instrument 79, which was gazetted recently and arrest opportunists profiteering from Government funded programmes.

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“This Statutory Instrument thus makes the abuse of inputs distributed under the Command Agriculture Scheme for domestic crop, livestock and fisheries production a criminal offence,” said VP Mnangagwa.

“In view of the lessons learnt from previous programmes, with regards to middlemen and opportunists, who thrive on profiteering from Government funded programmes, SI 79 of 2017, therefore, protects produce and Government property acquired under the Command Programme from abuse and misappropriation.”

SI 79 provides for inspectors to visit beneficiaries to verify adherence to contractual obligations.

VP Mnangagwa said the regulations were also a reaction to findings of his recent visit to Grain Marketing Board depots in Mashonaland West Province where inefficiencies and manipulation of grain moisture content in connivance with middlemen were noted.

The grain will then be sold at the gazetted price of $390 by the middlemen once they buy it from the farmers for less.

“That is corruption. Down with corruption. We now have a law to arrest such people. Manipulating others into giving up their maize for less than the gazetted price, stealing fertiliser, seed and inputs will lead to arrest,” he said.

“If the police did not know that we now have such a law in place I am telling them today that they should start arresting offenders.”

He was speaking at a ground breaking ceremony of agro-residential stands in Kadoma being developed by Craft Properties.

VP Mnangagwa said Government programmes were formulated not to enrich individuals.

He said it was unfair that someone folds their hands during the cropping season only to surface during the marketing season.

VP Mnangagwa said he was assigned to be the “Joseph” of the nation and through the Command Agriculture programme Zimbabwe will be free from hunger.

The country expects a bumper harvest.

“We have four clusters under Zim-Asset and I was given two of them namely Food Security and Nutrition and Value Addition and Beneficiation. I was given a task to ensure that the country has enough food,” said VP Mnangagwa.

“So I am like the Joseph of Egypt, who should ensure that the nation is fed through Command Agriculture. God responded by giving us abundant rains and we came with fertilisers, seed and fuel for our people.”

Cabinet recently approved Command Livestock, which seeks to build on the success of the first phase of the Command Agriculture scheme, which mainly covered maize.

“It was only on Tuesday July 11, 2017 when a meeting was convened with all stakeholders in the livestock value chain to deliberate on the implementation modalities and budget of the programmes,” said VP Mnangagwa.

“This is ample testimony of Government’s commitment to avail and facilitate broad based and multi-sectoral economic growth and involvement by the people.”

The Command Livestock programme will see Government providing funds to farmers.

On Craft Properties agro-residential stands, VP Mnangagwa said the project blends elements of Government’s agriculture thrust and residential development.

He hailed Craft Properties for heeding Government’s call for indigenous companies to enter into Public-Private-Partnerships in line with point number seven of the 10-Point Plan announced by President Mugabe in 2015.

VP Mnangagwa urged local authorities to avail land and infrastructure to private players to reduce the housing backlog currently standing at around 1,5 million.

Craft Properties managing director Mr Kudakwashe Taruberekera urged banks and building material suppliers to offer credit and loans to low income earners.

Sitting on 50 hectares of land, the project has 93 agro-residential plots measuring about 4 000 square metres each.

Over 1 500 high density stands are at various levels of development and are expected to reduce Kadoma City housing backlog, which stands at 20 000.

Mr Taruberekera, who was backed by Zion Christian Church through their leader Bishop Dr Nehemiah Mutendi, said he learnt the virtues of hardworking and building at the church.

Bishop Mutendi said all effort without the blessing of God was in vain.

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