Made Lies About Bumper Harvest

Controversial Zanu PF Hurungwe West MP Temba Mliswa has clashed with Deputy Agriculture Minister Paddy Zhanda, after accusing Minister Joseph Made of “lying” that there would be a bumper maize crop in Zimbabwe this year.
Mliswa told Parliament that it was impossible to conclude that there would be a bumper harvest on the basis of maize seed and fertilisers the government claimed to have distributed.
In a major, embarrassing climbdown, Zhanda admitted that the government had not conducted any official assessment to determine what cereals the country would produce this year.
“What criteria did the government use for them to conclude that we would have a bumper harvest?” Mliswa asked Zhanda during the Ministers’ question time last Wednesday.”In the previous years we have been told that there is a bumper harvest, which never proved true.”
Mliswa lambasted the government for raising expectations without providing the necessary resources to boost agriculture. He said the government had no capacity to assess the current crop.
“Where I come from, the Agricultural Research (Extension) Officers do not have transport, so what criteria did they use for them to conclude that there will be a bumper harvest?” queried Mliswa.
Zhanda reacted angrily, accusing Mliswa of getting his information from the “print media” and not from the “official position of the Ministry”. However, he admitted no official assessments had been carried out.
“It is true that we have not done assessments to conclude that there is a bumper harvest or not. So I urge him (Mliswa) not to rely on what he reads from the newspapers,” said Zhanda.
Mliswa refused to be cowed, insinuating that Made had lied when he gave the Herald newspaper interview claiming there would be a bumper harvest.
Mliswa retorted: “So Minister (Zhanda), are you telling us that Hon. Made was not telling the truth?”
Zhanda was saved further embarrassment when the acting Speaker of Parliament ruled Mliswa out of order.
“We do not say the Minister is lying. Let us substitute that word,” the acting Speaker said.
Mliswa begrudgingly rephrased his question: “Does it mean that the Minister (Made) did not tell the truth concerning the bumper harvest? Can you really say there will be a bumper harvest?”
Zhanda continued to be evasive, then shooting off tangent claiming without evidence that this year’s crop would be “better than last year’s”.


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