A WAR of words has erupted between President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba and the MDC-T over the veteran ruler’s campaign to dole out farming inputs worth $20 million ahead of next year’s elections.
By Our Staff Reporter
Mugabe launched the Presidential Well Wishers Special Agriculture Inputs scheme a fortnight ago and the maize seed and fertilisers are being distributed through Zanu PF structures.
But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai questioned the source of funds to bankroll the scheme at the weekend inviting the wrath of Charamba, who retorted by telling State media that Mugabe’s rival “finds enough money to atone his carnal (sexual)excesses”.
He claimed Mugabe raised the money through savings he made during his frequent foreign trips where he carried a “food hamper” to save from travel and subsistence allowances.
The MDC-T has since hit back, saying Charamba’s remarks were a clear admission that Mugabe had failed.
“Such statements show that
Mugabe and his lieutenants are in agreement with the people of Zimbabwe that he has failed to run this country,” the party said in a statement yesterday.
“For Mugabe, who is repeatedly and monotonously referred to as the Head of State and Government by State institutions, to concede that the same government he is head of has failed to support its farmers is not only astonishing, but self-
The party said Charamba’s attempt to justify Mugabe’s scheme had exposed deep-rooted weaknesses in Zanu PF’s system of patronage that turned people “into charity cases”.
“The people in the rural areas do not want systems that relegate them to perpetual recipients of handouts, but real programmes that uplift them to look after themselves,” the MDC-T said. “Furthermore, there is more to this whole scheme than meets the eye. If Mugabe says the farmers are ‘not receiving support from government institutions such as the Grain Marketing Board’, then he should deal with such a government institution since he says he is the Head of Government. Mugabe must accept that he has failed. If the whole machinery which has nationwide depots fails to support farmers, then how does he explain his capacity to distribute the same if it is not targeted at Zanu PF zealots?”
Mugabe accuses Finance minister Tendai Biti of failing to adequately fund agriculture, but analysts have questioned the Zanu PF leader’s sincerity since he chairs Cabinet meetings where the level of funding is agreed.