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Irate Farmers Stage Protests at Zanu PF HQ Over Collapse of $2 Billion Agriculture Inputs Scheme

The farmers carried placards denouncing the people who allegedly swindled them large sums of money in the agricultural inputs scheme. (Photo By Thomas Chiripasi)

Some irate farmers on Wednesday staged a peaceful demonstration at the ruling Zanu PF headquarters demanding the intervention of President Robert Mugabe after they failed to get agricultural inputs under a project allegedly linked to two senior party officials.

The angry farmers, drawn from all the country’s 10 provinces, sang revolutionary songs and denounced the two party officials, demanding an audience with President Robert Mugabe, who was chairing his party’s Politburo meeting.

One of the demonstrators, Agrippa Luwanja, complained that they have not been able to access farming inputs promised by the senior Zanu PF and Youth League officials working hand in hand with a company linked to the ruling party, Lasch Investments.

Luwanja said the farmers were not happy that they were yet to receive the promised seed and fertilizer, several weeks into the cropping season.

Luwanja says what is worrying them is that none of the senior officials have given them reasonable answers despite knocking on their doors several times.

Another farmer, Regina Mazivanhanga, also voiced her anger at their failure to access the agricultural inputs.

She said her crops are not growing well as they need a lot of fertilizer. She added that Zimbabwe may experience food shortages again this year as more than 8 thousand farmers were affected under this agricultural input scheme.

Agronomist, Jaison Chirinda, who hails from Mashonaland Central province, said he lost large sums of money to some Zanu PF officials and Lasch Investments, who had promised to provide them with inputs for the current cropping season.

Chirinda claimed that the two ministers allegedly involved in this scheme are Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made, who are both members of the Zanu PF Politburo.

Chombo declined to comment saying he was in a meeting while Made’s mobile phone was not being answered.

Meanwhile, the demonstrators failed to meet Mr. Mugabe, who was chairing his party’s supreme decision-making body at the party headquarters. The farmers paid varying amounts of money to Lasch Investments, hoping that the company will source agricultural inputs for them.

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