President Robert Mugabe
05 April 2017, Masvingo - The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs for Masvingo Shuvai Mahofa, who once dismissed President Robert Mugabe's plea for all provinces to contribute towards the 300 cattle donation he pledged to the African Union (AU) last year, is now under immense pressure as all the provinces have been ordered to immediately deliver the livestock, TellZim News has learnt.
Though the donation is against Mahofa's conscience as she indicated last year that Masvingo province is facing a number of challenges chief among them starvation that it cannot afford to contribute the cattle Mugabe wants for the donation, she is now mobilising the business community to chip in and assist, amid reports that all Rural District Councils (RDCs) have been forced to contribute at least $400 each.
Initially, Masvingo had pledged to reimburse 100 herds to the President but Mahofa back-peddled saying there is no stipulated number of cattle and the province will just raise what it can.
"We haven't been given a figure but we will raise what we can as a province," said Mahofa.
She, however, seems to be in panic mode after the Zanu PF national secretary of administration Ignatious Chombo is said to have written to her office indicating that the cattle were now due.
"We received communication that the cattle are now due therefore, we are on the ground to mobilise people to support us in cash or in kind. We have held meetings with the business community as well as the rural district councils and they have agreed to support us," said Mahofa.
"They have all agreed to pay at least $400 but some have challenged themselves to go beyond the stipulated amount. We are not forcing anyone but people are making pledges," she added.
Mahofa said they are committed to clear Mugabe debt as soon as possible.
"The money we are getting is going straight to buying cattle. We are not going to send money. There is a committee which has been put in place and will soon be visiting the province to check on the cattle and we would like to be found at least with something," said Mahofa.
TellZim News established that the ministry of rural development has written to all RDCs ordering them to donate at least $400 to buy the cattle.
Zaka RDC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Majaura could not be drawn into commenting about the letter as he indicated that he was not around when the finance committee discussed about it a fortnight ago.
"I heard about the letter from the ministry of rural development but I was not there when it was presented in the finance committee meeting," said Majaura.
However, councillor Peter Imbayarwo, who was present in the meeting, said the letter was not only directed to Zaka RDC but all councils in the province including the Masvingo city council.
Masvingo Mayor Hubert Fidze said the council is yet to receive such a letter but laughed off at such attempts saying they will not get a cent from the city council.
"They can be successful at the rural councils but as the city council we have always and will always stand by our principles of not getting involved in political party activities. We are yet to get the letter but that will not change anything," said Fidze.politics, local