Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE survived under the yoke of illegal sanctions that were imposed by the West following the land reform programme because of regular interventions by the Zanu PF Government that include the Farm Mechanisation Programme, a top ruling party official said.
In a Press statement, responding to wild and ill-informed accusations by an opposition apologist that people did not pay back loans under the hugely successful Farm Mechanisation Programme of 2007, that empowered the new farmers following the agrarian reform programme, acting ZANU PF spokesperson Cde Patrick Chinamasa said merchants of regime change are now trying to cast aspersions.
Cde Chinamasa said the allegations by former MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s advisor Alex Magaisa who pooh-poohed the State interventions in assisting farmers during very difficult circumstances are a brazen attack on the Land Reform Programme.
He said Dr Magaisa’s sentiments were not surprising considering the nexus between the country’s opposition with hostile Western capitals.
“Zanu PF is not surprised that Dr Magaisa is taking this posture. As a member of the MDC-T, he will be aware that his party was founded and funded by the British through the Westminster Foundation specifically to oppose the land redistribution programme. Dr Magaisa will not forget that it was his party which called for the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe,” said Cde Chinamasa.
Cde Chinamasa said it was the revolutionary land programme that provoked the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe and undermined and devastated its economy.
“In response to the deteriorating economic situation, the Government then adopted and implemented extraordinary interventions to address the prevailing situation,” Cde Chinamasa said.
In total disregard to practices that were made by the Rhodesian government, which had similar vehicles, but that were tailored to benefit only the minority white farmers, the United Kingdom-based Dr Magaisa attacked Government’s efforts to empower the majority.
“The empowerment programme were not confined to agriculture, but encompassed the health services sector through a programme named the Health Sectors Skills Retention scheme, support given to parliamentarians across the political divide, chiefs, headmen and rural people who benefited from the mechanisation programme and were provided animal drawn implements, the Baccossi, empowerment programme which provided food hampers benefited 1,5 million households, local authorities, hospitals, parastatals and the private sector,” he added.