Zimbabwe: Govt to Secure More Grain - Mutsvangwa

17 February 2020

Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Manicaland Bureau

Government is working flat out to secure more grain to ensure food security in the country, a Cabinet Minister has said.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who is also the secretary for administration in the Zanu PF Women's League, said this yesterday at the Herbert Chitepo School of Ideology basic orientation course for Manicaland Province in Vumba.

The five-day course, which was attended by leaders from all party structures, was meant to foster a deeper understanding of the values and ethos of Zanu PF.

Cde Mutsvangwa said the party leadership should enlighten the people that Government was making efforts to ensure basic commodities were affordable.

"When we realised that mealie-meal was too expensive and the vulnerable could not afford, we brought in a subsidy, but this was abused by some unscrupulous people who would buy at the cheap price and sell on the black market," she said.

"President Mnangagwa does not want the people to go hungry, so we came up with a way to stop that practice."

Cde Mutsvangwa said the coupon system introduced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube would help fight black market cartels.

She said the successful engagement between President Mnangagwa and his Ugandan counterpart President Yoweri Museveni on the sidelines of the recently ended 33rd Ordinary Summit of the African Union in Ethiopia was evidence that no one would go hungry in the Second Republic.

The engagement resulted in Zimbabwe securing maize from the East African country, with a delegation led by Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri already in Uganda.

Cde Mutsvangwa said party leaders were the link between Government and the people at grassroots level and it was important for everyone to have a shared vision.

She noted that the country registered positives in terms of road infrastructure development and the fight against corruption.

"There is not much foreign direct investment coming into the country, but we are using money mobilised on the domestic market to fix our roads," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

"There has been tremendous progress on that front, but we also have a lot of challenges.

"However, we need to understand that and tolerate each other.

"This country is not owned by one person, neither is Zanu PF. We all belong here, so let us love each other and be united."

On the outcome of the Tripartite Negotiation Forum talks held last week, Cde Mutsvangwa said all parties would eventually come to an understanding.

Talks on salaries and wages reached a deadlock, with the Government and labour on one side agreeing that there should be a minimum wage, while business rejected the proposal.

Cde Mutsvangwa took the opportunity to clear the air on social media messages claiming that 118 Chinese nationals had tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 in Zimbabwe.

"We will continue to speak on the coronavirus in conjunction with the Ministry of Health," she said.

"Social media has been spreading false information and we will continue to update people. There is no COVID-19 case in Zimbabwe.

"Government would not just sit and do nothing when there is a health threat. At all our ports of entry, people are being checked so that we monitor those who are coming in to protect our people and the country."

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