The scheme, which the Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Joseph Made said was meant to help revive agriculture, is only benefitting Mugabe’s supporters countrywide as the inputs are strictly being distributed at Zanu PF gatherings.
Sources in the President’s Office say a report has already been made to Mugabe indicating that his trusted lieutenants were looting the inputs.
“This was communicated to the President three weeks ago but I don’t know what action he will take,” said one source.
“The problem is that we are going towards elections and he would not want to antagonise his cronies because most guys will be found wanting should there be an investigation.”
Reports say the looting of the inputs scheme was not restricted to Harare but was widespread in the country.
In 2009, several Zanu PF chefs, senior army, police and prison officers were fingered in the looting of agricultural inputs from the Grain Marketing Board meant to benefit the poor.
Made last week professed ignorance that Zanu PF officials were helping themselves to the inputs but confirmed that people were getting small amounts of seed and fertliser due to demand.
“There is massive demand for inputs as you might be aware that donors withdrew some three or so months ago,” said Made. “We are very grateful to the President for this initiative because it has raised hopes for food security around the country.”
Made said the scheme, establi-shed under the President’s Well-wishers’ Fund, was not a Zanu PF project but was designed to benefit every Zimbabwean.
He said the scheme would be-nefit over half a million people recover from the effects of “illegal” sanctions and droughts experienced over the past years.
In addition to seed maize, fertilisers and small grain seeds, the inputs scheme for the 2010/11 agricultural season which shot up from US$10 million last year to US$33 million, has expanded to include cotton and livestock.
Made could not disclose the source of the funding.
Mugabe started the ball rolling by giving the inputs to all delegates who attended the Zanu PF congress in Mutare that chose him to represent his party in the next elections.