Zanu PF councillors have vowed not to give maize seed provided under President Robert Mugabe’s Input Scheme to supporters of the two MDC formations, NewsDay can reveal.
Activists from the two MDC formations said the councillors have declared that the seed would only be given to Zanu PF supporters.
They said councillors disclosed to them that they must not “waste their time” trying to access the maize seed which was delivered to the Grain Marketing Board under the President’s input support scheme.
“One councillor told me last week that the maize seed will never be given to supporters of any other party except Zanu PF. He said the opposition supporters would have to find ways of getting maize seed from elsewhere,” said the activist who refused to be named.
He said the councillor’s announcement had left people surprised.
However, contacted for comment, Thandeko Zinti Mnkandla, MDC-M member of the House of Assembly for Gwanda North said he was not surprised when he heard the news.
“I was not surprised when I heard that because Zanu PF has always been doing that all the time when we are about to go for elections,” he said.
“Some people in Zanu PF are trying to resuscitate what we now call the ‘sunset party’. Mugabe said it clearly that the maize seed is for everybody. If we continue like this, corruption will never end in this country”.
He took a swipe at Zanu PF supporters who have been selectively issuing the maize seed this farming season, saying their actions were tantamount to “witchcraft”.
“We have a programme running under the Constituency Development Fund where we fund a number of developmental projects in our constituency. We do not discriminate under this project, people from all parties benefit. We in fact work with some Zanu PF councillors, so I do not understand when some of these people want to divide our people using maize seed,” he said.
In an interview by telephone, Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairman Andrew Langa dismissed the allegations as false.
“People who are saying that are lazy to think,” he charged. “I have never heard of anybody who has been denied maize seed. In fact in Filabusi Ward 19, more than 400 people benefited some two weeks ago. The seed was not distributed according to party affiliation or attachment to anybody.”
Asked about the tonnage that has been delivered so far, he said he could not give figures.
“All I can tell you is that we have a lot of seed. That is the President’s scheme. We are expecting some more to come. The scheme will never run dry,” he declared.
He called on those who felt discriminated against to call on his office, the governor or visit the district administrator’s office.
“That input scheme is meant to benefit the underprivileged as well as vulnerable groups. It will remain like that. We were clearly told that chiefs and councillors would be in charge of the distribution process,” said Langa.
It has however also emerged that some of the seed is already being sold in the high-density suburbs in this town.