HARARE -ZAKA Central legislator Davison Svuure is accused of hijacking a government programme for the distribution of tick grease which he is allegedly parcelling out to Zanu PF members only.
Councillors and villagers are fuming.
As part of measures to control steriliosis disease in cattle, the government is distributing tick grease to farmers countrywide. The disease has claimed hundreds of cattle in Masvingo province, decimating the national herd.
Tick grease is used to supplement dipping chemicals which were recently in short supply in the country. Zaka Rural District Council ward 19 councillor Peter Imbayarwo (MDC Alliance) told The NewsHawks that opposition supporters in his ward are not accessing the commodity after Svuure, who is also a Zanu PF district coordinating committee vice-chair, declared that the party organ is now in charge of distributing the commodity.
He said the move will see many deserving farmers losing their livestock to diseases just because they support MDC.
“Our legislator is distributing tick grease on partisan lines in Zaka Central. As councillors, we were involved together with government officials, but Svuure recently declared that the programme is now under Zanu PF DCC and no one should cry foul over that. He is even giving ruling party supporters who do not have cattle, leaving out deserving farmers. This is not the first time, we used to clash during distribution of aid and other products coming from government,” said Imbayarwo.
Ward 8 councillor Tererai Tererai (Zanu PF) told The NewsHawks that Svuure is abusing his power by involving himself in the distribution of tick grease without the involvement of government officials. He said earlier this week people in his ward protested the issue.
“Svuure is abusing his power by involving himself in programmes which should be undertaken by government officials. The worst thing is that he is victimising his opponents within the party as well as opposition members who should also benefit since it is a government programme. People in my ward protested earlier this week before distribution of the commodity in my ward but he continued with the programme, leaving out many deserving farmers,” said Tererai.
Svuure denied the allegations when The NewsHawks reached him for comment. He said all deserving people are benefitting and those who are aggrieved should approach him so that the matter can be solved. However, he agreed that he is using ruling party districts to distribute the commodity.
“The programme is not selective of opposition members or anyone. All deserving farmers are benefitting and l took a decision to give anyone, even those who are not on the veterinary lists so that no one is left out. So far the programme is going on well and l know my political opponents are the ones who are raising those issues. We are left with two party districts where the commodity should be distributed,” said Svuure.
Masvingo provincial veterinary officer Enerst Dzimwasha told The NewsHawks the distribution of livestock chemicals is done by his department. However, he said his department was facing transport shortages which forced them to approach Zanu PF for transport, but the politicians are only transporting the chemicals from Grain Marketing Board and have nothing to do with the choosing of beneficiaries.
“We are in charge of distribution of all livestock chemicals in the province. Since we were facing transport problems, we approached Zanu PF which offered us the service through their legislators but those legislators have nothing to do with listing of beneficiaries. As you know, we know our farmers and if there is something bad happening during distribution we have nothing to do with it,” said Dzimwasha.
A senior government official in Masvingo told The NewsHawks that politicians are grabbing every opportunity to campaign for 2023.
He said there are many reports of politicisation of government programmes, but as civil servants they have no power to intervene since they fear victimisation.