VICE-PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) — who has been under attack from Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo over the manner in which command agriculture is being handled — yesterday slammed the minister, describing him as a destructive element, during a fact-finding mission at the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) Lions Den depot near Chinhoyi.
BY NUNURAI JENA/BLESSED MHLANGA
Mnangagwa, without naming Moyo, said Zimbabweans should not lose sleep over comments by destructive elements, who sought to diminish government programmes.
He said he was happy that his principal, President Robert Mugabe, was content with command agriculture and was not worried about sideshows.
“When you come to join the scheme, follow the rules. There are some who call it ugly culture, but thank God, our President called it beautiful culture,” Mnangagwa said.
“Let them talk while we continue to do well on the farms. The maize will continue to grow and then we harvest and deliver it to the GMB, while the prophets of doom continue to criticise.”
He was apparently responding to Moyo, who is very vocal against command agriculture, which he has described as “command ugly culture”, claiming it was being abused by Mnangagwa’s supporters to create a platform for the Vice-President to succeed Mugabe.
Moyo has also taken on Mnangagwa and command agriculture, saying the programme was being corruptly run.
Mnangagwa said command agriculture had been a success and funding would be increased from $165 million to $487m next season.
He said the government was in the process of buying driers to deal with the problem of high content moisture.
Agriculture permanent secretary, Ringson Chitsiko said farmers should get 20% of their total money instantly for grain deliveries and the rest after two weeks.
Mugabe at a rally in Masvingo last week praised the programme, calling it “beautiful culture”, but did not censure Moyo for attacking the programme.
Yesterday, Information minister Christopher Mushohwe, during a tour of a local company in Harare, also said Moyo’s allegations were mere talk without substance and would not deter Cabinet from carrying out government programmes.
“He (Moyo) has a constitutional right to vent his anger and hate on Twitter and to say the things he wants to,” Mushohwe said.
“But allegations of corruption have to be backed by evidence. Just saying there is corruption is not enough. The government is happy with the programme.”