‘Agric inputs abuse rife in Hurungwe’

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Chief Mujinga addressing villagers and Agritex officials recently

BY TAPFUMANEI MUCHABAIWA

COMMUNAL farmers in Hurungwe, Mashonaland West province, have accused Zanu PF youths of looting and meddling in the distribution of farming inputs under the Pfumvudza/Intwasa scheme, thereby depriving targeted beneficiaries, including the elderly and people with disability of the chance to access the inputs.

Villagers from Uroyi, Chiputi and Chivende area accused local Agritex officer Anna Masarirambi, councillor Mushonga Kangaderere and some village heads of working in cahoots with Zanu PF youths to loot the inputs.

The Pfumvudza/Intwasa programme was launched by government to help subsistence farmers to access subsidised seed packs and fertilizers.

Chief Mujinga told NewsDay that government officials in the area were also abusing the scheme for their benefit.

“I am a chief, but I also don’t get the inputs even when we see trucks bringing inputs to the area.  At times, only two out of 15 households get their share of the inputs,” Chief Mujinga said.

“We have 75 village heads, but they are not complaining against the corrupt tendencies by officials and youths, which means they are also getting the lion’s share of the loot.”

A villager, Ratidzai Mhaka claimed that instead of being given 10kg of seed, they only got 5kg each from the Agritex official.

Matthew Tafirauchena from Chiputi village said only Zanu PF youths received the inputs.

But Masarirambi denied the allegations, saying inputs were in short supply and could not benefit everyone.

“These inputs are actually in short supply. Farmers want us to give them inputs which are not there. It is true that we have not yet given all the farmers inputs up to now. We only give what we receive. It is bad for people to allege corruption against me when the truth is that we are not getting enough inputs here,” Masarirambi said.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development deputy minister Douglas Karoro told NewsDay that government would put in place adequate measures to curb abuse of agricultural inputs.

“We will make sure that we put watertight measures to curb malpractices by officials on the ground,” Karoro said.

Zanu PF information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi said: “Zanu PF has the most disciplined youths in Zimbabwe. Do not criminalise their affiliation, it is their right. The youths are the ones who participated in the recent primary elections and their discipline is evident in that participation.”

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