Villagers accused Matangira of hoarding 320 tonnes of fertilizer that they needed at the beginning of last season and releasing it now, too late in the season, to buy their votes.
Even though no dates for the next general elections have been announced, aspiring Zanu (PF) candidates are already jostling for position. There is intense competition to win the hearts of voters in the ongoing nationwide DCC restructuring exercise.
The farmers accused Matangira of looting the fertilizer from a local Grain Marketing Board depot last year. GMB was at that time rocked by an input grabbing scandal involving Zanu (PF) political leaders who received most of the fertilizer and maize seed at the expense of communal farmers.
A number of top GMB officials were fired or suspended. The grain loan and farming inputs scheme was established to benefit thousands of smallholder farmers who, since the land “reform” programme, have failed to adequately prepare themselves for the main farming season.
But political heavyweights are the ones who have been benefiting from the scheme, with some reportedly getting away with truckloads while communal farmers failed to get anything.
Vice President Joyce Mujuru berated people who were abusing the scheme, saying it put small scale farmers in a vulnerable position. Two of Matangira’s sons reportedly received 80 tonnes of fertilizer each while Matangira got 160 tonnes, which he is said to have stashed away, only to release famers well after harvest time.
Contacted for comment, Matangira denied the allegations, accusing his opponents of working to smear his image ahead of the next general elections.
“I do not fear anything because I know people say what they want. The MDC and Tsvangirai himself always say such things,” Matangira said.Post published in: News