Scotch carts, ploughs, seeds to buy votes

HARARE
Government has started distributing scotch carts and ox-drawn ploughs to provinces and will soon start dishing them out to the electorate ahead of next year's elections.
The Zimbabwean reported three weeks ago that the Reserve Bank (RBZ) was spending in excess of Z$3 trillion for the pu

rchase of 500 000 scotch carts and 800 000 ox-drawn ploughs to be distributed to rural constituencies – a move condemned by the MDC as ‘vote buying’.
It has been confirmed with one of the manufacturers in Harare that “the first batch of scotch carts was released to government and we are just finishing the remaining batch”.
Minister without portfolio, Elliot Manyika, who is also the Zanu (PF) political commissar, is spearheading the campaigning gimmick, together with Agriculture minister Joseph Made. Manyika this week declined to confirm nor deny the distribution of the equipment.
“The distribution will be done through chiefs and headmen,” a government source said. “It has particularly been planned to precede the onset of the raining season in order to really impress the electorate.”
An official at Hastt Zimbabwe based in Norton, manufacturer of some of the equipment, confirmed deliveries to various destinations across the country.
President Robert Mugabe is expected to launch the programme that will be referred to as Part 2 of the Agriculture Mechanisation Programme in follow up to the first part when tractors and other heavy duty equipment, imported by the RBZ at a cost of US$25 000, were dished out mainly to Zanu (PF) beneficiaries of the land reform programme.
In addition to the scotch carts and ox-drawn ploughs, sources say the Zanu (PF) regime also plans to use cattle, seeds and fertilizers to buy rural votes, under the pretext of improving agricultural production following massive declines in output since the violent land seizures that began in 2000. – Itai Dzamara

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