Jonathan Moyo insists that Command Agriculture was a flop- full statement


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I gave Vice President Mnangagwa examples of many and very recent instances in which the Herald, Chronicle, Sunday Mail and Sunday News have persistently but without any evidence have claimed that Command Agriculture in a $500 million initiative supporting maize production under 400ha that is poised to yield some three million tonnes of maize in what would be an unprecedented bumper maize harvest. Furthermore I pointed out that I have expressed serious concern that the Herald and Sunday Mail had gone over the top and published false stories claiming that the Government had used the alleged success of Command Agriculture to institute a Command Economy as Government policy.

Against this backdrop, and given the negative political fixation that successionists who control the public media have against me, it did not come as a surprise to see the scurrilously personalised Sunday Mail lead story today alleging that I am a beneficiary of Command Agriculture and accusing me of behaving like an MDC activist only because I questioned the misrepresentation and exaggeration of Command Agriculture routinely published by Zimpapers.

For the avoidance of doubt, I standby everything I have said about the unanswered and very serious questions about the poor implementation of Command Agriculture and about the folly of public media lies that the Government has adopted a Command Economy. No amount of vilification will intimidate me to move from truth to lies.

The claim in today’s Sunday Mail that I benefited from Command Agriculture demonstrates the ideological bankruptcy of successionists who clearly don’t even know the intended beneficiaries of Command Agriculture, as a contractual programme. In policy terms, Command Agriculture was designed as a “Special Maize Programme for Import Substitution”, and this in fact is its technical or policy name.

In other words, this is one contractual maize input scheme that is intended to benefit the nation by getting farmers to produce for the state to eliminate maize imports. Each contracted farmer is supposed to give to the state five tonnes of maize per hectare.

The apparatchiks of Command Agriculture who are quoted in the Sunday Mail story claiming to have dealt with me in any way or that I signed for this or that input are, like their handlers, command liars who bask in the folly of wishful thinking. The fact that the Sunday Mail story acknowledges that my family farm “has one of the best maize crops in the food producing hub of Mashonaland Central” is a tribute to my wife, Betty, who is the farmer in the family. She works very hard and honestly against untold adversities and I’m proud of her achievement given the odds she has to overcome.

It’s very telling that despite the begrudging acknowledgment that our family farm has one of the best crop in Mashonaland Central, the forces behind Command Agriculture could not hide their evil intentions to “investigate” this farm that has produced one of the best crops “for abuse of State resource”. Very satanic. Nothing new. We have suffered this evil and cruelty before.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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