Political Reporter Simba Moyo

Movement for Democratic Change-T, Member of Parliament, Murisi Zwizwai recently tried to ignite ZANU PF factional wars in parliament, when he made remarks that parliamentarians should give Command Agriculture (CA) credit only to President Robert Mugabe, and not even Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa who steered it on the ground.

Though his remarks seemed innocent, they were potential to incite a heated debate among the ruling party factions who are now known to take every opportunity to outdo each other.

His remarks followed after Hon. Joseph Chinotimba (ZANU PF) has implored the parliamentarians to give due credit to VP Mnangagwa for driving the CA programme well, that has seen the country at the verge of attaining food sufficiency this season.

Chinotimba had said God has blessed the country with enough rains and people were able to produce a lot or crops through Command Agriculture, adding that as Parliament, they would like to support such initiatives.

He thanked the VP and went further to suggest that he deserve to be promoted for being a hard worker.

“We would like to thank the Minister and the Vice President.  They should remain steadfast so that we continue to have a good harvest.  

“If we have bumper harvests, we will not be perpetually bothering Minister Mupfumira for food support.  If possible, these people should be promoted,” he said.

In an attempt to pit G40/ Team Lacoste against each other, Hon. Zwizwai said he had risen on a point of correction, saying giving CA credit to Mnangagwa was tantamount to belittling the President, who initiated command agriculture.  

“We do not accept ZANU PF Factions to come here to compete and praise those that are in the succession race.  Mr. Speaker, this House is not an arena for factions that are in the succession race.  Command Agriculture was initiated by His Excellency, the President Cde. R. G. Mugabe.  If you want to thank, you should thank him,” he said.

When Mugabe initiated the programme, he appointed Mnangagwa to see to it that it was a success. Mnangagwa seemed to have steered it well with the blessings of the Almighty who made sure that there was enough rains. But this did not go down well with some members of the G40, particularly Professor Jonathan Moyo who viewed it as giving Mnangagwa a competitive edge.

Sensing potential war of words that would have erupted between the ZANU PF factions; The Speaker of Parliament Hon Jacob Mudenda, made a timely intervention. “Hon. Zwizwai, I think the correction is accepted but you read too much and gone further to talk about factions.  I do not think Hon. Chinotimba was speaking from that position,” he advised.

Moyo had since been attacking the programme left, right and centre, saying it was nothing much to write home about. He criticised the programme in a way seen by many analysts as a direct attack to Mnangagwa for he was made the face of the programme.

At one time, Moyo had to be quizzed by Mnangagwa, who had expected the learned professor to support the CA programme. The VP told Moyo that he was surprised to note that the professor who is also a farm owner was a beneficiary of command agriculture, but could not acknowledge such a good programme.