Wednesday, November 28, 2012

(NEWZIMBABWE) Zanu PF MP denies blasting Mugabe input scheme

Zanu PF MP denies blasting Mugabe input scheme
Spot of bother ... Part of the MDC statement claiming MP attacked "partisan" programme
27/11/2012 00:00:00
by Gilbert Nyambabvu

ZANU PF MP for Goromonzi, Beatrice Nyamupinga, has denied MDC-T claims that she attacked President Robert Mugabe’s US$20 million agricultural input scheme, allegedly dismissing the programme as partisan and causing unnecessary confusion around the country.

An official statement from the MDC-T claimed Nyamupinga attacked the programme while addressing mourners at the funeral Tuesday of senior MDC-T official Martha Nhamburo, who was a Ward councillor for Goromonzi West.

Nyamupinga, a sister to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s ex-wife Locardia Karimatsenga, told New that she attended and addressed mourners at the funeral with the MDC-T leader, but rejected claims that she lambasted Mugabe’s input scheme.

The programme, said to have been funded by donors, has angered Mugabe’s rivals as parties step up campaigns for next year’s key elections.

In a statement, MDC-T said: “Goromonzi MP, Beatrice Nyamupinga of Zanu PF has blasted (President) Robert Mugabe’s agricultural input scheme saying the programme was haphazard, caused confusion and was partisan.

“Speaking before thousands of MDC members who included president Tsvangirai and the party’s senior leadership at the burial of Mai Martha Nhamburo, Nyamupinga added her voice to calls by the MDC for transparency in the distribution of agricultural inputs and grain to villagers across the country.

“The MP pleaded with president Tsvangirai to intervene in his capacity as the Prime Minister in ensuring that there was food aid in the community as only a few aligned to Zanu PF were benefiting.”

But Nyamupinga denied ever making reference to Mugabe’s input scheme and dismissed the MDC-T claims as a “desperate but ultimately futile" attempt to drive a wedge between her and her party.

“What they are saying is a load of nonsense. I never made any reference to the Presidential input scheme. They are trying to drag my name through the mud but it’s not going to work,” she said.

“People need help with inputs but the Ministry of Finance which is headed by the MDC-T says there is no money. So, why would I criticise a programme that is going some way in addressing what is clearly a serious problem?”

The MDC-T has dismissed the scheme as a cynical election campaign gimmick and demanded that Mugabe reveals the identity of his donors at a time the government has been forced to admit it was practically skint.

Tsvangirai has accused Zanu PF of diverting Marange diamond funds to help build a war chest for elections which are expected to be held in March.

But the claims were recently trashed by Mugabe’s spokesman George Charamba. Charamba insisted that the programme was financed by local and foreign donors who “threw coins into the President’s begging bowl”.

“Certain parties in the inclusive government view agriculture as synonymous with supporting Zanu PF which is why it never occurs to them that it feeds their stomachs more than it feeds the Zanu PF ballot,” Charamba said.

“The donor is not the President. The donor are the men and women of goodwill who made available the resources to buy inputs so that the Zimbabwean farmers, after being failed by their own government, can still go back to the field.

“Those donors are not only African but some of them come from foreign countries who have been charitable enough to drop coins into the President’s begging bowl.”

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