Thursday, November 05, 2009

(HERALD) No to donor dependency

No to donor dependency
Midlands Bureau

Government will this year make farming inputs available to farmers at reduced prices for the summer cropping season in a bid to end donor dependency, President Mugabe has said.

Speaking at a ceremony where Chief Ntabeni’s people in Zhombe handed over 65 tonnes of maize to the Head of State and Government yesterday, President Mugabe said the Government had slightly shifted from its policy of providing all inputs to farmers following the formation of the inclusive Government.

The farmers gave the President the maize as a "thank you" gesture for his leadership that had seen them get land and farming inputs in recent years.

President Mugabe, who is also Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, told hundreds of villagers that farmers should work hard to end the culture of begging and donor dependency.

"We are approaching that season of farming when we need inputs like seed and fertilizer.

"The way we helped you last year is not going to be the same with how we will assist you this year.

"The inputs will be provided at very low prices which the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Joseph Made will explain to you," he said.

President Mugabe said the change in the provision of inputs by the Government was prompted mainly by the formation of the inclusive Government.

"This Government came about as a result of the elections held last year, which failed to produce an outright winner.

"We are different parties and people politically. MuZanu-PF tiri vanhu vevhu rinodai kutipa kudya.

"We are fighters. Tiri vanhu vevanhu uyezve tiri veChimurenga. Tinoda kukwidziridza vanhu, hutano hwavo pamwe nedzidzo. Madzishe edu anorukudzo tinoda unhu hwedu kuhuchengetedza," he said.

"On the other hand, our friends in the MDC-T are bent on reversing the gains we made in culture and other areas in favour of the white man’s ways.

"Hatizive zvavanomirira. Hongu tiri vanhu vatema tese asi veMDC-T vanoda kubvisa VaMugabe nemhuri yavo because they think they can be better leaders. Kana mukarasika hameno zvenyu," he said.

President Mugabe warned the villagers that although independence had been attained in 1980, the country was still fighting imperialist forces that wanted to reverse the gains made thus far.

He said Western influence in MDC-T became evident when the party decided to "disengage" from Government over the arrest and appearance of Roy Bennett in court.

President Mugabe said the inclusive Government was meant to last for one-and-a-half to two years to allow the healing process and amendment of the Constitution.

The arrangement, President Mugabe said, was beginning to affect Zimbabwe’s values including respect for its traditional leaders.

"We grew up knowing that chiefs and other traditional leaders were to be respected always.

"That’s our culture. Now tell me what kind of respect is there when you are paying chiefs US$70 to US$80 as allowances?

"We have been watching our friends in the MDC-T and we discovered that they were working on reversing what we have worked for, our economic gains and our culture," he said.

President Mugabe said the national flag captured the essence of his address as it reminded detractors that the owners of the land were blacks.

"Some people were killed or maimed and a lot of blood spilt. The colour red represents this.

"The white shows we are a forgiving people. Anyone who tries to lower that flag after what we went through will be asking for trouble even from those long departed comrades," he said.

Last year, President Mugabe donated seed and other inputs to communal farmers, including those in Chief Ntabeni’s area.

The Zimbabwe Defence Forces co-ordinated the distribution of inputs under the Champion Farmer Programme.

The donation to President Mugabe yesterday was a show of appreciation by beneficiaries of the programme.

The people from the area donated two bags per family.

"It is touching to realise that there are still people among us who do not forget when they receive assistance.

"It is good to see people working so hard and producing. If we all do that, we will get rid of the donor dependency syndrome.

"Getting aid is not bad, but it should be on our own terms. NGOs should not decide who to give or not to give food. That should be our responsibility," he said.

President Mugabe also handed over three tonnes of maize seed donated by Seed Co, Pannar and Pioneer to the villagers.

Present at the occasion were Cabinet ministers Made, Francis Nhema (Environment and Natural Resources Management), Zanu-PF Politburo member Cde Rugare Gumbo, Midlands Governor Jaison Machaya and his predecessor Cde Cephas Msipa among other senior Government and party officials.

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