Zanu PF chefs bully Zinwa

Source: Zanu PF chefs bully Zinwa – DailyNews Live

Andrew Kunambura      5 August 2017

HARARE – The struggling Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has been
directed to supply uninterrupted water to Zanu PF bigwigs and top
government officials who are participating in the command winter wheat
programme even though some of them have outstanding bills, the Daily News
can report.

Lately, the water national authority has been terminating supplies to
defaulting customers, among them Zanu PF and government bigwigs who owe
the parastatal substantial amounts of money.

Zinwa had been buoyed in its pursuit of delinquent ruling party
heavyweights by its line minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, who had
validated its aggressive debt collection techniques.

The parastatal will now have to go back to the drawing board after the
national Command Agriculture taskforce said it should not interfere with
listed farmers who are growing winter wheat under the Command Agriculture

The list is made up of senior Zanu officials, including top civil

The list includes the chairperson of the taskforce, Justin Mupamhanga, who
doubles up as the deputy chief secretary to the president and Cabinet.

Mupamhanga, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, will pay $1
020 for the 30 hectares put under winter wheat at his Argyle Park farm at
a cost of $34 per megalitre.

The $34 is applicable to all the other beneficiaries as well, who include
the taskforce’s deputy chair and Air Force of Zimbabwe chief, Perrance

Shiri has put 66 hectares at his Hoperdale Farm under the winter wheat
crop, which requires 396 megalitres and is supposed to pay $2 244.

Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere and his brothers Tongai and
Dickson Mafios have 40 hectares (Cornucopia Farm), 50 hectares and 30
hectares (both Insingizi Farm) respectively. Their collective water
requirement for the season is 780 megalitres, costing an aggregate $26

Kasukuwere is Zanu PF’s national political commissar, while Mafios chairs
the party’s Mashonaland Central province. Tongai is the national secretary
for finance in the Zanu PF youth league.

Deputy head of the commissariat department Omega Hungwe has 60 hectares of
land at her Riversdale Farm and requires 360 megalitres.

Other beneficiaries include top State bureaucrats Mariyawanda Nzuwa, Ngoni
Masoka and Washington Mbizvo.

Masoka, who is permanent secretary in the ministry of Public Service,
Labour and Social Welfare, requires 360 megalitres to irrigate 60 hectares
at his Dunmaglass Farm and has already signed a stop-order form which
obligates him to pay Zinwa $2 040.

Nzuwa, the Civil Service Commission chairperson, requires 600 megalitres
for the 100 hectares put under wheat at Stella farm, located just outside
Bindura and will have to pay $3 400.

His counterpart, Mbizvo is asking for 240 megalitres to irrigate 40
hectares under winter wheat at his Nyawata Farm. Zinwa has calculated his
water bill at $1 360.

Legislator Remigious Matangira (Bindura South); senior police officer and
Innocent Matibiri are some of the major beneficiaries.

The majority of the farmers are along the Mazowe catchment area.

Insiders at Zinwa, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of
reprisals, said they had expressed disquiet over the fact that most of the
bigwigs listed by Mupamhanga already owe the authority huge sums of money
from previous farming seasons and are not even adhering to payment
arrangements that would have been negotiated.

Zinwa has been unwilling to make further water allocations unless the
farmers clear their arrears or negotiate payment terms. The major bone of
contention has been that while the farmers are getting all the other
inputs from government under the programme on credit, water has not been
considered a key input in their operations which should also be paid for
in advance as government is doing with the suppliers of other critical
inputs such as seed, fertiliser and chemicals, paid for from the Command
Agriculture funds.

But government has maintained that farmers should pay for the water
individually even when it is clear that some of them just do not want to
honour their bills.

Zinwa insiders said Zanu PF bigwigs had used their influence in government
to direct the parastatal to give uninterrupted water suppliers to the
farmers under the guise that they feared that the winter crop could go to
waste due to non availability of power.

Following Mupamhanga’s intervention, the parties have made a compromise
agreement whereby Zinwa would deduct its dues through a stop-order
facility upon farmers delivering their crop to Grain Marketing Body (GMB).

Zinwa’s corporate communications manager, Marjorie Munyonga, confirmed the
development saying water had been recognised as a key input “just like any
other input under the Command Agriculture programme”.

“The agreement is that farmers who have planted wheat under the Command
Agriculture programme will pay for their water through a stop-order
facility that will be administered through GMB. Zinwa will provide water
to the farmers in advance and then collect money when the farmers sell
their produce,” she said.

She said Zinwa was currently in the process of compiling the names of the
farmers who are supposed to sign stop-order forms from other catchment

“The stop-order forms are then submitted to GMB through the local Command
A griculture structures in the districts and provinces,” she said.

However, fears are that with most farmers unable to meet the May 1
deadline, which saw government revising the target hectarage by 70 percent
from 61 000 to 43 000, farmers may fail to produce enough wheat to be able
to pay the water bills and remain with something.

Late planting results in poorer harvests, which means farmers could fail
to reach the average 3,5 to 4 tonnes per hectare, with GMB maintaining the
$500 per tonne producer price.

The situation is further compounded by the fact that farmers still have to
off-set costs of input through produce.

Munyonga said Zinwa would still pursue what it is owed by farmers
regardless of output.

“The authority reiterates that it is a criminal offence under the Water
Act for anyone to use water for purposes other than primary purposes
without the relevant water abstraction agreement, which compels farmers to
pay for the water they consume,” she said.