Lloyd Gumbo in Muzarabani
Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko has castigated officials in charge of parastatals and State enterprises who are running down the organisations by focusing on their perks and other benefits. He said most parastatals were not operating viably because officials were selfish. VP Mphoko, who is on a three-day tour of Mashonaland Central province, said Government was worried with some of the officials who “behaved as expatriates” with no zeal to contribute to national development.
He made the remarks when he toured Arda Estates in Muzarabani yesterday where it emerged that only a small portion of the 600-hectare land was used for seed production, while the rest was idle.
“The problem is that some of our officials in these parastatals have behaved like expatriates,” said VP Mphoko.
“They have not justified their existence. They are not serving the people. They are more interested in their perks. So, as long as they are getting their perks and other benefits, they are okay with that. They don’t bother about viability of these institutions.
“There are things that some parastatals are failing to achieve because those in charge are stealing. When you are occupying those positions, you must know that you have a responsibility to make sure they are viable. A lot of our infrastructure has been run down and mines closed and you can’t get explanation about how and why they were closed.”
VP Mphoko implored senior officials at parastatals to feel obligated to ensure their organisations were viable and make meaningful contribution to the fiscus.
Addressing a rally later in the afternoon, VP Mphoko, who is here on behalf of President Mugabe, said the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces wanted Zimbabweans to be self-reliant
“No one will come from Europe to develop the country for us,” he said.
“Whoever comes from outside the country they will be doing so to benefit their own countries. You can’t ask the Chinese to come here and grow cotton for you.
“There is nothing as painful as thinking about the fact that we are now importing maize from Zambia and Malawi. The President wants to know if all the machinery such as tractors and the other equipment actually reach people on the ground.
“He wants to know the things affecting people. I will definitely brief him about what I found here. Please pray for the President, he has a very good heart.”
Minister of State for Mashonaland Central provincial affairs Advocate Martin Dinha and traditional leaders in the district expressed their displeasure at the demise of Arda Estates.
Arda Head of Planning and Business Development Mr Dominic Sadziwa said out of 600 hectares, they only utilised a small portion for seed production.