BY GARIKAI MAFIRAKUREVA/FARAI MATIASHE
CHIREDZI West legislator Farai Musikavanhu (Zanu PF) on Sunday vowed to deny MDC supporters food aid and government-sourced agricultural inputs, and put paid to long-standing allegations that the ruling party disenfranchises underprivileged members of society on political grounds.
In a seven-minute video, Musikavanhu, who was addressing Tongaat Hulett workers in ward 18 before distributing presidential inputs, said the councillor and his supporters will not benefit from the programme.
“This ward was won by an MDC councillor, but when it comes to Presidential inputs he and his supporters will not receive anything. You can mix with MDC thugs at work, but they will not get anything from this programme),” he declared.
Speaking to Southern Eye early this week, Musikavanhu said since MDC supporters had refused to recognise Zanu PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa as President, they will not benefit from the scheme.
“As the MP for Chiredzi West Constituency my record is very clear in respect of working positively with Chiredzi Town Council whose chairman is from the MDC-Alliance on government projects,” Musikavanhu said.
“The comments I made on 16 November 2019 are in respect of the Presidential Inputs Support Scheme: This is a special and direct intervention by HE President ED Mnangagwa. The MDCA have chosen not to recognise President ED Mnangagwa’s presidency and as such my position is as follows: I will not recognise the MDCA in Chiredzi West constituency in any programme I am tasked with originating from the Office of President ED Mnangagwa until they recognise the legitimacy of our democratically-elected President of the Republic of Zimbabwe HE President ED Mnangagwa.
“This is about our sovereignty as a people and as I stand by the full text of my audio clip.”
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MDC Masvingo provincial spokesperson Derick Charamba said Musikavanhu’s remarks confirmed the policisation of aid by Zanu PF officials.
“Zanu PF has been abusing taxpayers’ money to fight MDC, yet the majority of taxpayers are from the MDC. The silent majority is not silent at all. Elasticity breaks at some point,” he said.
MDC proportional representation MP for Chiredzi, Mucharairwa Mugidho said as a party they believe that any programme that is funded by Treasury is supposed to benefit all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation.
“In a modern society, it’s not only shocking, but reckless for a community leader to be seen propagating hate and disunity among Zimbabweans on the basis of which political party one subscribes to. Leaders must unite people so that our collective efforts in our diverse ways contribute to the development of the country,” Mugidho said.
“As a party, we cannot hide the fact that we are disappointed by Musikavanhu’s gesture that breeds hate because the food in question is bought by taxpayers’ money. So this is clear evidence that Mnangagwa’s government is using food aid as a political tool against MDC.”
Ward 18 councillor Gilbert Mutubuki (MDC Alliance) described Musikavanhu as politically immature. “How can a whole MP stoop so low to distribute presidential inputs and aid? He should have left that to councillors. It clearly shows that he is not even aware of his role as an MP,” Mutubuki said.
Zanu PF national spokesperson Simon Khaya-Moyo said he could not comment as he had not seen the video.
However, Khaya Moyo recently said it was not Zanu PF policy to abuse food aid and urged the MDC to report all allegations of food handouts abuse.
Information permanent secretary Ndavaningi Mangwana said: “Government policy is that all Zimbabweans assessed to be eligible for food aid should be given it regardless of their political preferences. The same applies to the Presidential Input Scheme. President Mnangagwa is the leader of this nation. That means he superintends over the interests of everyone and everything in this country, including wild animals. So political preferences are not a consideration at that level.”