via VP Mujuru: Pay workers to end corruption | The Herald by Evelene Taadira October 4, 2013
Vice President Joice Mujuru has called on organisations to rightfully reward people for their labour to minimise cases of corruption.
She singled out the agriculture sector where she said farmers needed to fully enjoy benefits from their efforts. Speaking at a graduation ceremony for participants of the Tobacco Improved Productivity Sites at Kutsaga Research Station in Harare yesterday, VP Mujuru said despite the phenomenal growth registered by the tobacco industry in recent years, farmers were not enjoying the rewards for their labour.
“Tobacco farmers work hard, plant crops and get to contribute to the national income, hence we expect them to be given a hand so that they can use other smaller portions on their farms to meet their daily food requirements,” she said. “It is only through an evidently changed standard of living that agriculture can be appreciated by the different facets of the community.”
VP Mujuru said empowering people through giving them the rightful returns for their labour was one way of fighting corruption. “People are overcharging in health institutions, some are being corrupt at roadblocks,” she said. “White collar crime has also taken centre stage in this country, and this should be condemned.”
VP Mujuru implored financial institutions to loan out money at reasonable rates.
“Banks are enjoying the peace and security in our country and should, therefore, give farmers money at cheaper rates for our industry to grow.
“We should show that we now own the resources,” she said. “Let us conserve our land as the most precious thing.
“No one will be relocated to better places having failed to properly use what they already have.”
VP Mujuru hailed tobacco farmers for being successful despite being adversely affected by the illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country by the West.
She said it was gratifying to note that tobacco growing was on the rise again.
“The rebound of the tobacco industry has resulted in much excitement with indications that tobacco contributed 10,7 percent of the GDP in 2012,” said VP Mujuru.
“There is still room for much growth and all stakeholders need to play their part to ensure that Zimbabwe not only produces the quantity, but also produces the quality desired by our markets.”
VP Mujuru commended the tobacco industry for “the sterling work that has allowed this extraordinary expansion” and urged the stakeholders to continue working together for the benefit of the country.
Alluding to reports that farmers in some areas were now growing cash crops instead of grains to make more money, VP Mujuru said Government was determined for small grains to be sold at best prices .
She said if farmers concentrated on crops that were ideal for their farming regions, the country would not import food.
“The money we have been using to import grain from countries like Zambia should be used to pay local farmers,” said VP Mujuru.
“It should work towards ensuring job creation and making indigenisation a reality in all sectors.” The training programme for the tobacco farmers was conducted by Kutsaga as part of efforts to improve productivity of tobacco growers through practical lessons on all aspects of growing the crop.
Mr Suarance Matope of Omeath Farm in Mashonaland Central scooped the first prize in the farmers’ category among the farmers in the 15 tobacco growing regions who took part in the training. Mr Matope’s trainer and Agritex officer Mr Peter Tsungu won the first prize in the officers’ category.