AGRICULTURE deputy minister (livestock) Paddy Zhanda has challenged Zimbabweans to shun corruption whose effects he claimed were worse than sanctions imposed on the Zanu PF leadership by Western countries.
Source: Corruption worse than sanctions: Minister – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 29, 2016 BY KHANYILE MLOTSHWA
Speaking at an agri-business forum held in Bulawayo yesterday to coincide with the ongoing Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, Zhanda said: “I know you will be saying the government is corrupt. If there is any corruption, it is between you and us. I can’t corrupt Lands minister (Douglas Mombeshora) here because I have nothing to give him, but you can corrupt me because you know I have nothing. Please stop corrupting us.
“Corruption is cancerous. It has cost us a lot. We can’t quantify the cost of corruption, but, to me, corruption has cost us more than sanctions. When Minister Mombeshora came into office, he tried to change lands officers, some of whom had become institutions in districts. They had become a law unto themselves. Every land officer was driving a Mercedes-Benz car. We can stop corruption. Let’s just stop feeding it. We all have to deal with corruption,” he said.
Zhanda also said the culture of expecting handouts from government had killed the farming sector.
“I don’t believe in government giving things to people. Government will never give for free to somebody it has not taken for free from someone. When you look at our budget, the biggest contributor is value-added tax (VAT). VAT comes from the struggling pregnant women and old people. I don’t believe that the poor should subsidise the rich. I want to see you as a sector running your own affairs.”
He also called on farmers’ unions to concentrate on their mandate, which is to protect farmers’ interests, and stay away from active party politics.
“I’ve a lot of doubt as to the role of farmers’ unions in educating their own members besides collecting levies. To be honest, as individual members of Zanu PF, we don’t want farmers’ unions to be members of the party. They should represent farmers.”