MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene on Thursday threatened to evict “rude and stingy” white farmers in the province, while at the same time blasting most new black farmers for being lazy.
The outspoken minister made the remarks at Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers field day in Watsomba, Mutasa Central constituency, where successful small-scale dairy farmers were honoured.
“Undesirable elements in the province, dairy farmers or no dairy, I will eliminate you. The people doing dairy farming are your students [black people]. But l know some of them [whites] are very helpful, but some of them are rude and you should know l am equally rude and l can match you,” she said.
“Don’t think that there is anything special, let’s work together. But also, honestly, some of them are friendly and generous. Also on the other hand some of them are stingy, let us desist from being stingy, we are all in this together, the sanctions are affecting us all, the prices and cost of living is affecting all of us, so let’s work together.”
Chimene, who was the guest of honour at the event, made the remarks in the presence of a few white commercial farmers, who attended the field day alongside Agriculture deputy minister Paddy Zhanda.
She, however, conceded that white farmers were hard working, before blasting Zanu PF sympathisers, who benefitted from the land reform programme for not utilising their plots.
“If you are into farming and looking for another job then you are not a farmer. A farmer should employ workers. We should not have any problems of hunger in this country. You see we have farmers who wake up around 11 O’clock in the morning, this is laziness,” Chimene said.
“MDC does not have land. It is you people from Zanu PF who have land. At this moment you will find out that there are people who are waiting to be assisted by President Robert Mugabe. If he assists you, if there is no money tomorrow, you will say that money is being stolen.
“White commercial farmers don’t sleep, let us thank these people, what is good is good. These people work very hard.”
Responding to Chimene’s remarks, Zhanda said it was government policy that dairy farmers should be spared from acquisition.
‘’It is government policy that dairy farmers should be spared in the event that we are working together,” he said.
MDC-T Manicaland spokesperson and Mutasa central MP Trevor Saruwaka, who was part of the gathering was angered by Chimene’s remarks.
“It is regrettable that the provincial minister chose the platform to spew venom at the white community,” he said. “Why are we continuing to threaten the few remaining white farmers. We have a few farmers here and they have come to support us, do you think that they are going to be happy after all this?” newsday