PRESIDENT Mugabe has assured Zimbabweans in drought-stricken areas that Government would not let anyone starve as food relief will be availed to cushion them from hunger.
The President’s message was relayed by Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs Minister Cain Mathema during a Zanu-PF campaign rally at Dlamini area in Tsholotsho North yesterday.
Zanu-PF Politburo member and Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo is vying for the vacant Tsholotsho North seat in by-elections set for June 10.
“The President sent us to tell you that all those from areas that didn’t receive adequate rainfall in the last farming season, the Government will not let you starve. He said no one will die of hunger. Food is coming,” said Mathema.
“The President is a people’s leader and has never let his people down. He said when the food comes, it should be distributed even to the members of the opposition.”
Mathema urged the community to vote for Prof Moyo, saying the two other candidates – Gertrude Sibanda and Busani Ncube who registered as independent candidates but are linked to the MDC formations – were mere agents of the West with nothing to offer to the people.
“A person who advocates for the suffering of the people by inviting sanctions against the country isn’t very different from a witch. They claim to love the people, yet they’re causing the very people to suffer,” he said.
“When we vote Prof Moyo, we say he is a child of Zanu-PF; he’s a son of Robert Mugabe; a son of Joshua Nkomo and all the luminaries who fought to liberate this country.”
Mathema said the Government wanted to ensure the provision of water to rural areas hence the drilling of 20 boreholes in the area to alleviate water shortages.
He, however, said the vision went beyond boreholes with the far-reaching goal being to provide water to homesteads so that villagers would turn to cash crops that would transform the rural economies.
Mathema said the Government was also connecting the district with electricity that would help complement the transformation of the rural economy.
“We want you to harvest not only for your stomachs but sell your produce. We want industries here in Tsholotsho that would buy and process your goods instead of importing peanut butter and other products from South Africa,” he said.
Mathema, who has since ordered that all shop owners in the province be given title deeds for their properties so that they can access loans from banks, said Tsholotsho was a good area for small grains that could be exported to countries that don’t consume maize meal like Sudan, Ethiopia and Namibia, among others.
All this, Mathema said, can only be achieved with the capable representation of Zanu-PF from council right up to the highest office.
“I have always said that councillors in Bulawayo are of no fixed abode. How do you get representation from such people? You want to vote for uneducated people without property to represent you?
“Vote for someone with a strong educational background like our President and Prof Moyo. President Mugabe said the black majority should be empowered, how will you achieve that when you vote for uneducated clowns?”
Mathema said Prof Moyo was a wise leader ready to champion the aspirations of the people.
“If you are an independent of MDC, you are a lone voice because Zanu-PF is ruling. We are the ones making decisions. We want an MP who will ably represent the people and that is Prof Moyo. He is a humble leader. We don’t want leaders who will go around kicking other people saying ‘I’m a minister’. The people know you already,” he said.
“You should not use your position to abuse the people or unnecessarily flex muscles. You would be nothing but a stupid fool looting other people’s properties.
“Let’s work together and assist each other.”
Speaking at the rally Central Committee member Alice Dube said the former Tsholotsho North representative did not do anything to develop the area and only used “small goats that we call FTT (Failure To Thrive), to get votes.”
Fellow Central Committee member Alois Ndebele said the MDC-T had pushed Ncube to contest as they feared a humiliating defeat at the hands of Prof Moyo.
Lot Mbambo, another Central Committee member ,said the Tsholotsho North community had a special candidate in Prof Moyo who makes serious contributions in serious matters of governance and the party, and would be a champion of their needs.