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Zimbabwe: President reaches out to MDC
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2007

By Itai Musengeyi and Fortious Nhambura
June 12, 2007

The Herald

LEADING MDC officials were yesterday among the first beneficiaries of the farm mechanisation programme as President Mugabe once again reached out to the opposition to work with Government on matters of national interest.

Acknowledging the presence of MDC Senators and Members of the House Assembly at the commissioning of the agricultural equipment, Cde Mugabe said such events should unite Government and the opposition despite their political differences.

"It's a national event ... that realisation is important that there must be occasions when we must be together. After all, we eat together. Nyaya yekudya inyaya yedu tese, hapana asingararame nekudya. Kana toita politics dzekutukana tinenge taguta," the President said to applause by guests.

Some of the MDC officials present at the ceremony were Pumula-Luveve Senator Mr Fanuel Bayayi, Lobengula-Magwegwe Senator Mr Thabiso Ndlovu, Bulawayo-Nkulumane Senator Ms Rittah Ndlovu and Umzingwane Member of the House of Assembly Ms Nomalanga Khumalo.

The four MDC MPs were all beneficiaries together with Government ministers, war veterans, youths, women, business executives, senior civil servants, service chiefs, white farmers and university farms.

Leading opposition figures who are beneficiaries are faction leader Professor Arthur Mutambara, who is farming in Chimanimani District, his deputy Mr Gibson Sibanda (Bulilima) and their secretary general Professor Welshman Ncube (Umguza), deputy leader of the Morgan Tsvangirai-led faction Ms Thokozani Khupe (Matobo), the opposition chief whip in Parliament Mr Innocent Gonese (Mutare District), Mr Giles Mutsekwa (Mutare), Mr Joel Gabbuza (Binga), Mr Blessing Chebundo (Kwekwe), Mr Job Sikhala (Seke), Mr Tapiwa Mashakada (Mazowe), Masvingo executive mayor Mr Alois Chaimiti (Masvingo) and Mr Rensen Gasela (Gweru District).

Other MDC legislators who benefited were Mr Tongai Matutu, Mr Njabuliso Mguni, Mr Jealous Sansole, Senator Sinampande H. Madolo, Senator Greenfield Nyoni, Ms Editor Matamisa and Mr Lovemore Moyo.

Also on the list of notable beneficiaries were Mr Edgar Tekere, Dr Ibbo Mandaza, former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Kumbirai Katsande, current CZI president Mr Callistus Jokonya, Delta chief executive Mr Joe Mutizwa, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Mrs Marah Hativagone, former Commercial Farmers' Union president Mr Doug Taylor-Freeme (Makonde District), Dr Robbie Mupawose and Mr Timothy Chiganze.

Institutions of higher learning that benefited were Solusi University, National University of Science and Technology, Bindura University of Science Education and Midlands State University.

The following white farmers also benefited: Mr Paul Dollar (Mazowe), Mr Chris Hougood (Seke), Mr Jeremy Vaughan (Kwekwe), Mr Dawie Joubert (Chipinge), Mr Oliver Hendrick (Mwenezi), Mr A.S.J. Rosenfels (Umguza), Mr Bistol Kerwood (Beitbridge) and Mr Burger Naude, who is believed to be Indian.

Reserve Bank Governor Dr Gideon Gono said the programme cuts across the political and social divide.

"Feeding the country may not be left to one region, political party, gender or business community, but is a shared responsibility," said Dr Gono.

Cde Mugabe said prominent in Government's preferred way of allocating resources was the elimination of corruption, favouritism and discrimination of whatever nature.

President Mugabe has repeatedly urged the opposition to be nationalistic, homegrown and to join forces with Government to defend Zimbabwe's sovereignty and independence.

At the burial of the late Vice President Cde Simon Muzenda in 2003, Cde Mugabe hailed the MDC officials who joined thousands of Zimbabweans to bury the national hero at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

"So kushamwari dzedu dzeMDC dziri pano tinovati aiwa you are also Zimbabweans. Sadza ratinodya rakafanana, tinodya matumbu embudzi akamonwa tinoada zvikuru," Cde Mugabe said then.

He told the mourners that Zanu-PF and MDC were "sons of the soil and they should behave like sons of the soil".

The President's remarks therefore came true yesterday when a coterie of MDC officials was among beneficiaries of the mechanisation programme, which is a phase of the land reform programme.

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