via Made is lying: Mliswa – DailyNews Live by Chengetai Zvauya 24 MARCH 2014
Temba Mliswa, Zanu PF legislator for Hurungwe West, has accused Agriculture minister Joseph Made of lying that Zimbabwe will have a bumper harvest this year.
Mliswa believes Made’s predictions are a fantasy and could result in hunger for a very large number of innocent Zimbabweans.
The feisty lawmaker, who is also Zanu PF Mashonaland West chairperson, challenged Made during ministers’ question time last Thursday to come out clear and state were he got the idea that the country was expecting a good crop.
“I have read press reports where the minister is quoted talking of a bumper harvest,” Mliswa said.
“In Mashonaland West we got seed for 90 000 hectares, fertiliser for 10 000 hectares and AN (Ammonium Nitrate) fertiliser for 20 000 hectares and A2 model farmers did not get any support from government. So how can Made talk of a bumper harvest? Minister vari kunyepa (is lying).”
Mliswa received support from most of the lawmakers in the National Assembly as the debate shifted to the food situation in the country
Some MPs demanded to know the grain situation and whether the country’s silos had adequate holding space in the event that there was bumper grain.
Others demanded that Made, who was absent in Parliament, clarify his statement.
Paddy Zhanda, deputy Agriculture minister, who was representing Made, said it was difficult to announce whether the country was facing a bumper harvest or not.
He said that pronouncement can only be made after a second crop assessment.
Zhanda said he was not aware of the statement attributed to Made.
“I have not read the newspaper that Hon Mliswa is referring to, and I advise him not to rely on press articles,” Zhanda said.
“We need to do another crop assessment to ascertain whether we are heading for a bumper harvest. What we know is that we need 2,3 million tonnes of maize to feed the nation.”
He said the true position whether the country will have a bumper harvest or not will only be known next month.
President Robert Mugabe’s often violent seizure of thousands of white-owned farms for redistribution to black Zimbabweans, coupled with erratic rains, has crippled the country’s agriculture-based economy.
The WFP is currently feeding over two million Zimbabweans a month, and Britain, Zimbabwe’s former colonial ruler, is the second largest contributor to WFP feeding programmes in the country after the US.