Bikita councillors clash over govt inputs

BY Garikai Mafirakureva

MDC Bikita East ward 15 councillor Samson Dzinodya and his Zanu PF ward 19 counterpart Easeburn Chivasa are embroiled in a nasty wrangle over the distribution of government agricultural inputs.

Dzinodya is accusing Chivasa of roping in Zanu PF militia to usurp his authority and distribute inputs in his area to ruling party supporters without proper paperwork.

The MDC councillor said he had to write to the district development co-ordinator for Bikita, Bernard Hadzirabwi, complaining about the politicisation of government inputs.

He said Hadzirabwi had not responded to his complaints, resulting in the problem persisting.

Hadzirabwi confirmed receiving a letter from Dzinodya, but said government officials who were present during the distribution exercise told him everything was done above board.

“As far as I am concerned, everything went well, but after receiving the letter I cannot rule out that there might be some grey areas which need to be dealt with. So I have invited him to my office so that we can talk about the issue and map the way forward so that such incidents are never repeated again,” Hadzirabwi said.

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Chivasa, however, played down the issue, saying he only participated in the distribution of the inputs in Dzinodya’s ward because he is a Zanu PF provincial member in the security department.

“Yes, I can confirm that I was present in Dzinodya’s ward during distribution of inputs. I feel he overreacted because as a fellow councillor, I was not supposed to be there, but I only attended the distribution exercise as a Zanu PF provincial member in the security department and not as a councillor,” Chivasa said.

“He just didn’t know that I and my fellow colleagues from Zanu PF were supposed to oversee every distribution process in the district. That is why he coerced heads to sign that false petition.”

Isaac Mashanda, a well-known Zanu PF member, who used to man the party’s district co-ordinating committee (DCC) officer before they (DCCs) were disbanded in June 2012, also confirmed that he was present, but was quick to say everything was done properly.

However, Dzinodya maintained that the distribution exercise was done fraudulently with several signatures being forged.

This led to 52 of the 75 village heads in ward 15 signing a petition which was copied to the DDC and Bikita Rural Council chief executive officer Peter Chibi in which they denounced the way the distribution process was conducted.

According to the village heads, women, the elderly, people living with disabilities as well as orphans and vulnerable children were left out during the distribution exercise as the inputs were looted by the Zanu PF militia.

Efforts to get a comment from Chibi were fruitless as his mobile was not reachable.

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