February 09, 2018 / comments : 0
BY NEWSANCHOR CORRESPONDENT
Scores of rioters were injured after police were called in to disperse rowdy Banket residents, who were threatening to beat-up a senior Zanu PF politician, Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and Youth ministry officials for alleged partisan and corrupt distribution of free farming inputs sourced under President Emmerson Mnangagwa's Well-Wishers' Inputs Programme.
Angry residents, who had queued for long hours, were baying for Zanu PF Ward 22 Councillor, Loveness Kamunga, whom they accused of bias, favouritism and corruption in the handling of the fertilisers and maize seed targeted for A1 small-holder farmers.
Kamunga and her accomplices had to be rescued by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) details, who swiftly moved to quell the chaotic situation forcing rioters to scamper for cover in the midst of a bellowing cloud of tear-smoke.
An ambulance was rushed to the scene to ferry the injured to Banket District Hospital, where they were reportedly treated for various injuries, before being discharged.
The incident occurred on Wednesday at Wigtown farm, 7 km from Kuwadzana township, where free farming inputs were being distributed through Zanu PF party functionaries, who differed in the manner in which they were being parcelled out.
Kamunga was accused of side-lining some of the deserving beneficiaries, while giving preferential treatment to others suspected of having paid her kick-backs.
The under-siege Zanu PF official was conniving with Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and Youth ministry officials to deliberately remove some names from the beneficiaries' list and replacing them with those of "paying clients" and kinsmen. They allegedly changed the distribution venue on short notice inorder to disadvantage rightful beneficiaries.
"The whole process was unfair and Kamunga is the one to blame for all this mayhem. Those connected to the councillor, GMB and Youth ministry officials are the only ones benefitting," charged one protestor, Kenneth Chiripanyanga.
Residents were also riled by 'extortionist demands' by Kamunga and her team that would-be beneficiaries pay $1 each to hire a truck to ferry inputs to the area. Another rioter, George Chitengu, told NewsAnchor the figure was slushed by half after residents protested over the $600 truck hire fees for a distance of less than three kilometres, from the warehouse to the distribution site.
Kamunga, however, dismissed the accusations, saying distribution logistics were transparent and fair. She shifted the blame on GMB for changing of the assembly venue which she said was necessitated by crowd trouble that erupted at the previous distribution point.
The councillor and her GMB and Youth ministry cronies were behind the wanton looting of the fertilizer and maize seed consignment, sources alleged.-TOP NEWS.
Zimbabwe News Anchor
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