CHAOS marred the government-sponsored input scheme on Saturday in Mutasa, Manicaland, as Zanu-PF and MDC supporters bayed for each other’s blood.
REPORT BY OBEY MANAYITI
The distribution was then suspended, for the second time in as many days, to a later date following the intervention of police who reacted quickly before the situation got out of hand at Goringo Business Centre.
MDC-T Mutasa Central MP Trevor Saruwaka and his party supporters accused Zanu-PF supporters of trying to hi-jack the distribution of inputs from the bonafide distributors.
On the other hand hundreds of Zanu-PF supporters vowed that no MDC supporters were going to benefit from the inputs scheme thus turning the whole process chaotic.
The Presidential Well-wishers Inputs Scheme is government funded and it was introduced to help the needy in a bid to avert hunger in many parts of the country.
Arex officers who had come to distribute the inputs later vanished amid fears of being caught in the political wrangle.
Saruwaka said he would continue engaging relevant people so that the distribution was done in a non-partisan manner.
“The distribution was supposed to have happened today (Saturday), but it couldn’t because Arex officers had left following this chaos and the process could not continue,” Saruwaka said.
“Today it became apparent that there is no sincerity from Zanu-PF supporters to have all citizens of Zimbabwe benefit from government programmes.
“It’s the local councillor and Arex officers who should take the leading role in consultation with traditional leaders in the distribution of inputs. But what happened here is that Zanu PF supporters compiled their own list and they are saying no other person should benefit from this programme,” he said following the suspension of the distribution.
The news crew also was forced to delete some pictures they had taken during the process.
Real drama unfolded after Saruwaka had stood to address the gathering to explain how the process was supposed to progress.
Hundreds of Zanu PF supporters walked away in protest before breaking into revolutionary songs vowing to block access to the inputs by MDC-T supporters.
Meanwhile, some farmers in Mutasa area have bemoaned the delayed distribution of inputs saying it was going to affect their harvest.
“Farming is our source of livelihood and we need to prepare in time.
“We are not interested in politics anymore. Elections come and go and now it’s time to focus on something else. If inputs are meant for deserving people then let them be distributed fairly so that we all benefit,” said Wilson Machiwana (67) who said he was looking after a big family.
Over the years, opposition parties have bemoaned lack of transparency in the distribution of farming inputs accusing Zanu-PF officials and traditional leaders of bias.