HARARE – Chimurenga music legend Thomas Mapfumo has fired barbs at government initiated Command Agriculture programme saying the programme has brewed the ongoing tiff between senior government officials.
The $500 million scheme was initiated by government at the start of last year in a bid to generate food self-sufficiency.
President Robert Mugabe is on record saying the much-hyped Command Agriculture programme was conceptualised by First Lady Grace Mugabe and Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The programme has, however, triggered a bitter feud between Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo and on the other side senior government officials that include Mnangagwa and Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa. The army has also come in defence of the initiative.
Mapfumo, who has been exiled in the United States of America (USA) for over a decade, has not been amused by the ongoing tiff.
In a series of tweets written in Shona, Mukanya, as the 72-year-old Chimurenga music star is popularly known by his fans, pokes fun at the discord that has been created in government by the programme.
“Ndinotoshama kuti vacho vemahofisi emudenga vaakuda kumarana nekuudzana nezveiyo Command Agriculture iyi apo tirikutongopinda muchirongwa (It is shocking that senior government officials are at each other’s throats over the Command Agriculture programme even though it has just started),” the Marima Nzara hit-maker wrote.
The forthright Mukanya added that there was nothing new about the much-vaunted Command Agriculture.
“Mazwi anenge ‘Command Agriculture’ handiwo anokudza zvirimwa. Kurima kutopinda mumunda toshanda tokohwa todya. Ma loans agara aripo. Rimai (The Command Agriculture policy on its own won’t bring about food self-sufficiency. People have to go on the land and do the farming. Loans have always been there),” the 72-year-old music star wrote on Twitter.
In yet another tweet, Mukanya referred to his 1993 hit Maiti Kurima Hamubvire — “Dai Command Agriculture yedu iyi yaita kuti vanhu vedu vadye vachiguta. Parizvino rangove bongozozo nemvongamupopoto. ‘Maiti kurima inyore.’” (The Command Agriculture programme was created to generate food self-sufficiency but it has only managed to create conflict. You were very mistaken to regard farming as an easy exercise,” the Chimurenga legend wrote.
In Maiti Kurima Hamubvire, off the album Hondo, Mapfumo attacked government for coming up with a half-baked land reform programme.
Part of the song goes:
Maiti kurima hakunetse (You said farming was easy)
Muchiti kurima inyore (You said farming was not complicated)
Maiti mombe hamushaye (You said you would easily get the draught power)
Muchiti gejo munaro (You said you had the farming implements).
In a related development, the Mamvemve hit-maker derided President Robert Mugabe’s recent $1 million donation to the African Union.
“Makorokoto kuna VaMugabe. Vabvisa $1 million ku Africa Union. Dai vaita a similar sacrifice at home tivake migwagwa Ngatiziveiwo vedu vemumba (Congratulations to Mugabe for donating $1 million to the African Union but he should make a similar sacrifice at home so that we can build roads. Charity begins at home,” he tweeted.