OPPOSITION parties yesterday raised the flag over President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s donation of food hampers, computers and cash to the Marange community this week, describing the gesture as a vote-buying gimmick ahead of this year’s elections.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Mnangagwa made the donations to Mafararikwa villagers in Marange on Wednesday while officiating at a ground-breaking ceremony for a state-of-the-art stadium being developed by Johane Marange leader Noah Taguta.
The Zanu PF leader handed over 100 computers and pledged to donate a 100 more. Besides the computers, the Zanu PF leader and presidential candidate in this year’s polls also doled out several tonnes of rice and maize meal which he said would help feed construction workers at the site.
He also pledged a $50 000 cash donation in addition to drilling four boreholes at St Noah College while Sports minister Kazembe Kazembe donated $10 000 towards the construction of the school.
MDC-T Manicaland provincial spokesperson Trevor Saruwaka said Mnangagwa’s donations raised a stink, given that the country is just a few weeks away from the elections.
“They are at their default game towards the elections where they suddenly realised that communities need help. I think the Marange community would prefer a share of diamond revenue and infrastructure development rather than get rice and maize and other token donations which have little impact on their lives,” Saruwaka said.
“He would have done the Marange community a big favour at least if he had offered an explanation on the whereabouts of the missing $15 million diamond revenue.’’
National People’s Party spokesperson Jeffreyson Chitando also said the timing of the donations was questionable.
“It’s vote buying which is being disguised as handouts,’’ he said.
“We are very aware that they are using taxpayers money to donate to the society ahead of the elections.’’
Alliance for People’s Agenda (APA) Manicaland provincial chairman Reverend Walter Nyakunu blasted Mnangagwa’s gestures.
“Why giving computers to a school that has already activity? How many schools are struggling in Manicaland? My only understanding is that this is not a government school,’’ he said.
“lf l am not mistaken former President Robert Mugabe made a donation of computers to the same school. There are a number of vulnerable schools in the country, but why making the donation now? They should had done that long ago.’’