Agriculture Committee: Tempers flare over Pfumvudza input distribution

Agriculture Committee: Tempers flare over Pfumvudza input distribution

By Joel Mandaza

Makoni Central legislator David Tekeshe (MDC-T) had to be muted for the remainder of the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Committee meeting following a spirited exchange of words with committee members who from Zanu PF.

The committee which is chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Wadyajena was grilling Grain Marketing Board (GMB) chief executive Rockie Mutenha and the Ministry’s permanent secretary John Bhasera on the country’s preparedness for the impending harvesting period.

A few minutes into the question and answer session with the invited guests, Honourable Tekeshe asked Basera to clarify why Zanu PF officials were (allegedly) disbursing Pfumvudza inputs.

“I want to find out why inputs from Pfumvudza, a government program were being distributed by known Zanu PF chairmen,” he quizzed.

This was interjected by Wadyajena who asked Tekeshe how he knew that individuals in question belonged to Zanu PF, to which Makoni Central legislator responded that they compete in the same political space and therefore identifying a Zanu PF activist is not difficult.

“You can call the GMB Rusape manager and ask if I did not confront them over the partisan distribution of Pfumvudza inputs?” said Tekeshe.

Other Zanu PF legislators such as Jonah Sewera (Murehwa West) and Tafanana Zhou (Mberengwa North) came to Wadyajena’s rescue throwing jibes towards Tekeshe.

“Whoever made you Deputy Chief Whip, muddied waters for us. We shall not hear the end of this,” Zhou quipped.

These and other sentiments incensed Honourable Tekeshe who went on a tirade, asking his fellow committee members why they took him for a fool.

Proceedings were disrupted for a period of about five minutes before Honourable Wadyajena instructed committee clerk Learnmore Majoni to mute Honourable Tekeshe.

Tekeshe could not make contributions until the end of the session, as a result.

Basera asked Honourable Tekeshe to provide evidence in written form so that the Ministry of Agriculture can do investigations into the claims.

Every year when agriculture inputs are distributed, there are concerns of partisanship, which political observers interpret as a way of influencing electoral processes through coercing communal farmers into supporting the ruling party so they can access inputs.

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