HomeNewsArmy confirms aiding command agriculture

Army confirms aiding command agriculture


THE military, which has for long been linked to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s succession bid, has disclosed that it is heavily involved in government’s command agriculture programme, which the VP heads.


In a statement, Zimbabwe National Army commander, Lieutenant-General Philip Valerio Sibanda, said his team had deployed over a thousand officers to run the project.

“We are playing our part in two clusters of ZimAsset, the one being food security and nutrition … in that regard the army is playing an important role in the command agriculture exercise. We have close to a thousand members, who are at various levels playing an important role there,” he said.

Zanu PF politburo member and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo has often accused Mnangagwa of using the government-funded command agriculture scheme to clandestinely push his bid to succeed President Robert Mugabe.

Moyo has also gone to the extent of labelling it “ugly culture”, accusing Mnangagwa of abusing State resources for his political expedience.

Sibanda also said the military was heavily involved in other sectors of the economy, which included transport, particularly with the National Railways of Zimbabwe.

“We continuously assist government and government ministries like the ministry of Transport. We have a number of officers, who are helping that ministry to try and get the NRZ going through technicians.

“We are also assisting the Agriculture ministry. We continue to engage in certain short-term support of various ministries like the Labour and Social Welfare ministry in grain distribution,” Sibanda said.

In a separate statement, Air Marshal Perrance Shiri, said the military has always worked well with the political leadership since 1980.

“One of the Air Force of Zimbabwe’s legacies is the military’s subservience to political leadership since 1980. We have co-existed with our politicians peacefully. We have complimented each other,” he said.

This comes at a time Mugabe has ordered the military to stop dabbling in party politics.

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  1. It happens everywhere in the world, nothing peculiar in the army assisting government projects…It only becomes a concern when they become involved in succession politics

  2. The military is invited by civil authorities.In fact the civil authorities appear to tape in on the skills available to execute some of the programmes,since the government could not afford to embark on those programmes due to budget constraints.It’s quite disturbing to note that some members of the country’s senior national executive decide to rubbish the programmes led by their colleagues in the public domain yet they have platforms to challenge the outcomes of those projects at weekly cabinet meetings.The military therefore, should not be dragged into factional fights since this is tantamount to undermining its discipline.

  3. This is actually just a cover for deploying the military to campain for Zanu for the 2018 elections, it means already the people in those farming areas are already being psychologically being tortured to vote Zanu

  4. Let us face issues directly here;
    1. Command agriculture does not belong to Mnangagwa, the President said it was the brain child of his wife that was adapted inorder to revive the agriculture sector

    2. The military has been into the command agriculture publicly not secretly, that is why Air Marshall Perrence Shiri is one of high echelons..

    3. It is also the duty of the military to serve the nation by participating in civil and public projects, their job is to safeguard the lives of the public by not going to wars. That is what they are being paid for, remember the defence forces is not a profit making organisation or revenue generating organisation..

    ****Thank you Zimbabweans!

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