HON. J. TSHUMA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker for affording me this opportunity to also air my views. I would like to start by thanking the President for addressing this House and giving us objectives that we need to follow as this House and also the Executive.
Madam Speaker, I must hasten to say that I am a bit disappointed though that the President all the time gives direction. He leads us in the right and correct path but some of us decide to take a left turn and do exactly the opposite of what the President would have said or what is demanded by your particular office. Madam Speaker, the President in his speech talked about the issue of the economy and how we can grow it but, when you look at the reality on the ground, it is totally different and the opposite of how the President wants us to drive our issues.
I will begin with a simple issue of the land – look at the land distribution. We want to commend the Command Agriculture which came on very well and stabilised our food security a bit, and this season we did not have to actually spend the foreign currency that we do not have to try and import maize to cushion our people. So, we want to commend that but now again, whilst we are talking about the issue of the Command Agriculture and agriculture as a sector which is an important component in the economy of Zimbabwe, you will find that we have other comrades who have got more than two farms belonging to one person. You ask yourself, is this person pulling together in the same direction with what the President wants us to achieve and with what we want to achieve. Any normal meaning Zimbabwean who wants the economy to tick again will not be greedy enough to go and grab two farms yet they are not able to actually farm on one of those farms. You find that when you go out there on those farm lands, most of the farms are underutilised. Even other farms that used to kick, for example I was in Esigodini where we used to have a very good farm that produced oranges, today it is an eye sore but somebody took it. When they took it what did they do about it? Those are the people that are our biggest let down and those are the people that we need to talk about because the President has done everything.
Actually, Hosiah Chipanga once sang a song in Shona with the words “vaMugabe vanopa asi isusu njere ndisu tisina”. You see, the President gave us enabling factors for us to prosper but what have we done about it. I remember sometime back farmers were given implements like diesel, fertilisers and you name it, and they sold them. They did not put them into production and our economy started tethering and you wonder what is happening. It is because we have got some people that are not well meaning, who are not putting our country and economy first. People who want to have it the easy way, taking short cuts and that brings us ten steps backwards Madam Speaker.
Looking also at the issue of mining Madam Speaker, you find one white guy holding 250 claims yet they cannot even work on one claim. A claim is about 10 ha of land. They cannot work on one claim but they have 250 claims. Because they have money they are able to always renew their certificates and then hold on to that land for speculative reasons, but not economical reasons. If that land was let go and a miner just had one claim, and released the other claims to other people, we will be able to start producing that gold we need to get out and earn foreign currency.
Continued next page