via Farming inputs: the ugly facts | The Zimbabwean 05.11.13 by Editor
With the main farming season here, the cumbersome issue of inputs to communal and smallholder farmers is once again haunting Zimbabwe. The partisan distribution of seed has taken centre stage, with increasing reports from all over the country that communal farmers are being segregated along political lines in the distribution of free inputs, with known and perceived members who campaigned or voted for the opposition being side-lined.
While this is not a new trend, considering that year in and year out certain categories of citizens are excluded from inputs hand-outs and food aid, we remain perturbed by Zanu (PF)’s retributive tendencies. Of particular concern to us is that the hand-outs come courtesy of the taxpayer, and not from Zanu (PF) as a private institution.
Worse still, it is vulnerable rural communities, where people were courageous enough to choose to exercise their democratic and legal right to vote for political candidates of their choice who are being victimised.
While the Zanu (PF) national spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, recently distanced the party leadership from the exclusion of its political “enemies” from the on-going distribution of inputs, we find this incredible. If anything, the whole party’s leadership, right from its First Secretary, Robert Mugabe, must be blamed for the politicisation of the farming inputs.
We are solidly convinced that there is nothing that can happen at the Zanu (PF) grassroots structures without the top leadership quickly getting wind of it, especially in cases where whatever takes place is widely reported by the media. We also know that the leadership in that party has the capacity to speedily halt anything taking place in its structures on the ground.
The fact that, for weeks now, reports about the partisan distribution of the inputs have been widely publicised yet nothing is happening to stop it, means that President Mugabe and his top lieutenants are aware of it, and in fact colluding with those implementing it, as a way of punishing supporters especially of MDC.
After all, what does the president expect his lower ranks to do when he was the one who, some months back, led the chorus against the opposition by threatening Harare and Bulawayo with exclusion from national processes as punishment for voting for MDC on July 31? He has not publicly come out to reverse his statement and that could be why his followers are acting in this unacceptable manner.