ZANU PF national political commissar and Minister without Portfolio, Elliot Manyika, has accused heads of parastatals of being unpatriotic and urged them to be loyal to the ruling party.
Manyika last Thursday told a meeting with parastatal heads held under the theme: “Interfacing the Ruling party and Parastatals in National Development,” that there were no two ways about serving the needs of the ruling party.
“Make sure you implement party directives,” said Manyika “You are here because of the ruling party. It is the party that gave birth to government. For as long as Zanu PF is in power, make sure you serve it.”
Manyika’s remarks come hard on the heels of a senior civil servant exposing the country’s precarious grain situation.
Two weeks ago Secretary for Agriculture, Simon Pazvakavambwa, made startling revelations at the CZI congress held in Nyanga that the country had a paltry three weeks supply of grain reserves.
Manyika blamed revelations of looming food shortages on “dubious” parastatal chiefs whom he accused of committing acts of sabotage.
“Chibage tinorima nekugaya muno, dzimbe zvimwechetezvo. Hazvitombodi foreign currency, zvozonzi zvashaika chirudzii?” he said. (We grow and process maize in the country. It’s the same with sugar cane. We don’t even require forex, and how can those commodities be out of stock?)
Anti-Corruption and Anti-Monopolies minister, Paul Mangwana, added weight to Manyika’s remarks: “It is erroneous for parastatals to say they have nothing to do with the ruling party. Some parastatal officials were in the habit of withdrawing essential audit information needed by my ministry to probe graft activities,” he said.
Mangwana said withholding essential audit information was unacceptable.
“This is an act of defiance and necessary action will be taken to ensure that the act comes to an end.”
Senior government officials have in the recent past criticised civil servants who have taken the flak for dereliction of duty and have threatened to take corrective action against the culprits. Criticising civil servants is seen as government’s attempt to garner loyalty for the ruling party when many public officials appear to be abandoning a sinking ship.
High-profile government officials, among them Vice President Joice Mujuru and Reserve bank governor Gideon Gono, attended the meeting.
The symposium was aimed at mapping the way forward in coordinating activities between the ruling party and parastatals to the benefit of so-called national development.