ZANU PF supporters in Muzarabani and Dande areas are now selling maize seed and fertilizer donated to them under the ruling party’s Presidential Well Wishers Input Scheme in order to buy food for their starving families.
In interviews with this publication, many said they were left with no option as the rains have not come and they cannot start planting for the current farming season.
A 50kg fertilizer bag which normally costs about $30 is being sold for as little as $10 or less.
The current dry spell has made life difficult for many as they are forced to travel several kilometres to fetch water for their livestock as well as for domestic use.
“We are now going to Mt Darwin Shopping Centre to sell the farming inputs we received from the Zanu PF leadership so that we can buy food for our families,” said village head Simon Mudzengerere.
“Even if we keep them (seed and fertilizer) what benefit will they give me and my family?”
Along local roads in the Dande area, villagers can be seen stopping passing vehicles and asking if they want to buy the seed and fertilizer.
“We do not display the inputs at road-side as some Zanu PF youths sometimes harass us for selling them,” said another villager who only wanted to be identified as Madzimbamuto.
At Chiswiti Shopping Centre, Christopher Mudzviti said the ruling party should consider giving them farming inputs that are suitable for the area.
“Here we need short grain; short season varieties but they just give us maize seed only and when they get back to Harare they start talking about small grain,” he said.
Last year the Zanu PF leadership said $28 million was set aside to buy 2015/16 farming inputs that were going to be distributed to more than 300,000 small scale farmers around the country.
The scheme is seen by many as a stop-gap measure as the government owned Grain Marketing Board (GMB) is failing to pay farmers on time so that they can buy their own farming inputs.
Opposition parties also complain that the largely state-funded input support schemes are usually only distributed to Zanu PF supporters.