HIGHER and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday admitted he is a beneficiary of Command Agriculture, a Government programme he vigorously discredits on social media. In a statement, Prof Moyo went on to abuse Zimpapers for consistently writing positively about Command Agriculture, branding The Herald, Sunday Mail and Sunday News “command liars”.
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“This statement is pursuant to the lead story in today’s (yesterday’s) Sunday Mail headlined, ‘Prof Moyo benefited from Command Agriculture’. In the afternoon of Friday 24 March 2017, I had a chance encounter at State House with Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa who had just returned from a
Command Agriculture field day in Mt Darwin. As I greeted him, VP Mnangagwa immediately said he did not know that I had one of the best maize crops at my farm in Mashonaland Central after receiving support from Command Agriculture and that he had flown over the farm by helicopter and seen the excellent crop yet I was attacking the programme,” said Prof Moyo.
He said he told VP Mnangagwa that he was not against the programme.
“I advised the Honourable Vice President that I had not attacked Command Agriculture anywhere but that, based on my first-hand knowledge in light of my family’s farming experience in Mazowe and the harsh experience of other farmers, I had questioned the shockingly politicised and personalised misrepresentation and exaggeration of Command Agriculture by The Herald, Chronicle, Sunday Mail, and Sunday News,” said Prof Moyo.
He claimed to have told VP Mnangagwa that The Herald and Sunday Mail “had gone over the top and published false stories claiming that Government had used the alleged success of Command Agriculture to institute a Command Economy as Government Policy”.
He then grudgingly admitted to having benefited from Command Agriculture.
“The claim in today’s Sunday Mail that I benefited from Command Agriculture demonstrates the ideological bankruptcy of successionists who clearly don’t even know the intended beneficiaries of Command Agriculture as a contractual programme. In policy terms, Command Agriculture was designed as a Special Maize Programme for Import Substitution and this in fact is its technical policy name.
“In other words, this is one contractual maize input scheme that is intended to benefit the nation by getting farmers to produce for the State to eliminate maize imports. Each contracted farmer is supposed to give the State five tonnes of maize per hectare,” said Prof Moyo.
He became abusive.
“The apparatchiks of Command Agriculture who are quoted in the Sunday Mail story claiming to have dealt with me in any way or that I have signed for this or that input are, like their handlers, command liars who bask in the folly of wishful thinking,” said Prof Moyo.
He alleged abuse by forces behind Command Agriculture.
“It is very telling that despite the begrudging acknowledgement that our family farm has one of the best crop in Mashonaland Central, the forces behind Command Agriculture could not hide their evil intentions to investigate this farm that has produced one of the best crops for abuse of State resources. Very satanic…Someone should tell these evil command fellows that the whole deal is a contract governed in terms of contract law.”
Prof Moyo insisted that Command Agriculture was not a success story.
“The expected national maize harvest from Command Agriculture is projected, not assessed, at between 600 000 and 750 000 tonnes. Otherwise yes, this is very promising maize season and the expected bumper harvest will come from the Presidential Input Scheme, self-financing and other contract schemes than from Command Agriculture, this time round,” he said.
Prof Moyo’s vitriol comes a few days after his friend and Zanu-PF national political commissar Cde Saviour Kasukuwere, in a similar fashion, attacked The Herald and threatened its reporters for reporting on their activities.
This is happening after women across the country’s 10 provinces demonstrated against Cdes Sarah Mahoka and Eunice Sandi Moyo for undermining the First Lady. Mahoka also stands accused of abusing VP Mnangagwa and presidential spokesperson, Mr George Charamba, last year.
The demonstrators also denounced Cdes Kasukuwere and Prof Moyo.