In a press statement issued out by the party’s Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Lands and Water Development, Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the country’s arable land remained ‘chronically under- utilised and inefficiently managed’.
Said Nkomo: “The establishment of the land commission is in line with Zimbabwe’s Constitution.
“Its task is to carry out a comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan audit to weed out greedy multiple farm owners.”
Nkomo said the growth of the country’s agricultural productivity required a coherent and pragmatic approach to land use, planning and management.
He said: “Tenure issues linking communal area agricultural land productivity to service agro-industrial opportunities and acceding to regional and international conventions, treaties and declarations should be revisited.”
According to the statement, the MDC was concerned that the government was only interested in political expedience although it failed to implement policies that ensured the revival of the agricultural sector and sustainability of the country’s water reservoirs.
“Zanu PF should stop making political decisions on technical issues and creating serious food insecurity in the country.”.
Nkomo said his party was aware that the party working with the Agricultural and Rural Extension officials and government district administrators was distributing grain and agricultural loan schemes along partisan and corrupt lines..
“The government is breaching the Constitution, which clearly states that every citizen has a right to sufficient food, safe and potable water,” read the statement.
Nkomo castigated the party’s leadership to stop holding villagers at ransom and demanding Zanu (PF) membership cards before they can benefit from government food aid and agricultural inputs.
“Reports that the party’s top officials, working with government officials and traditional chiefs are demanding Zanu (PF) membership cards from villagers before they receive government food aid and agricultural inputs are disturbing.”
The MDC’s urged government to promote policies and strategies which increased the demand for labor through broad-based strategies that promoted labor-intensive growth in agriculture, agro-industries and related sectors to prevent future food shortages in a country where over two million people faced serious food shortages.
Land distribution, according to the MDC was ‘murky and done in a corrupt manner’.
“Grace Mugabe took over 800 hectares of prime land at Mazoe Citrus Estates and Manshou Game Reserve in Mazowe, leaving hundreds of workers unemployed and homeless. Last year, she grabbed 1 600 hectares of Mazoe Citrus Estates,” read the statement.
The MDC took a swipe at the Zanu (PF) led government for failure to develop and support irrigation projects.
“There is need to focus on the development of smallholder irrigation schemes, increase the participation of women and the unemployed youths to embrace irrigation farming.
“Drip irrigation should be developed in all provinces and come up with an integrated water resources planning, management and service delivery strategy to ensure that water does not become a constraint to national development,” read the statement.
The party urged government to continue on the various water projects some of which were initiated under the government of national unity.
Read the statement by Nkomo: “Success stories under the GNU are there some of which include the Mtange Dam, Mtshabezi pipeline, Bubi-Lupane Dam, Mhangura Water Supply, Birchenough Bridge Water Supply, Gokwe, Mutoko and Darwendale Water Supplies.
“We prepared draft terms of conditions for the independent consultant engineer for the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam which was meant to supply water to the City of Bulawayo. We hope the Zanu PF government will ensure that this project comes to pass to ensure water supply to the City of Bulawayo.”
The MDC urged government to implement appropriate policy interventions before the negative repercussions on the health and functioning of this country are increased.Post published in: News