Thursday, June 28, 2007

(HERALD) 'Give Us Fertilizer Instead of Salaries'

Zimbabwe: 'Give Us Fertilizer Instead of Salaries'
The Herald (Harare)
27 June 2007

CHIEFS and headmen from Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe in Mashonaland East province have asked Government to give them fertilizers and other agricultural inputs instead of paying them monthly salaries. The chiefs and headmen told Provincial Governor Cde Ray Kaukonde during a recent meeting that they would like Government to empower them with farming inputs instead of cash.

Cde Kaukonde, who is on a provincial tour to meet traditional leaders and Zanu-PF supporters from the grassroots to drum up support for next year's local government, parliamentary and presidential elections, told the chiefs that Government would look into their request.

He also urged youths to be vigilant against intimidation by the opposition and to desist from reacting to the opposition's violent campaign tactics. Cde Kaukonde has already been to Mudzi and UMP and is this week expected to address similar meetings in Murehwa, Wedza and Chikomba.

"I am on a tour to encourage traditional leaders and Zanu-PF supporters to register for next year's elections. The elections are very important. We have to show the world that we are solidly Zanu-PF," he said.

Cde Kaukonde said the people should show the world that elections can be held in a peaceful environment and that the people can vote in large numbers despite the temporary economic challenges. Cde Kaukonde said Mashonaland East had encouraging massive voter registration to allow the province to have more wards and constituencies.

"Some of our wards and constituencies are too big. We can only reduce them in size if the people register to vote. We want leaders with people. Every leader is being urged to mobilise people to register," he said.

Cde Kaukonde said he accepted criticism by chiefs in UMP who complained that Government had failed to fulfil some of its promises such as the provision of vehicles for chiefs, cellphone network and good roads. He said while the problems were being addressed, the chiefs should always guard against surrendering their country to the enemy.

He told the chiefs that some of the Government's projects were not implemented because the country was under illegal sanctions.

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