‘Concourt must be free to decide’ – Chiwenga

Constantino Chiwenga

The Constitutional Court should be allowed to deal with MDC-Alliance application challenging President Mnangagwa’s victory in the harmonised elections without undue influence from anyone, Acting President Constantino Chiwenga said yesterday.

Acting President Chiwenga said this at Arda’s Antelope Farm in Matabeleland South yesterday after assessing the authority’s winter wheat crop.

He scoffed at the MDC-Alliance court challenge, saying President Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF won the elections resoundingly.

“There are those who have gone to court challenging the Presidential election results,” said Acting President Chiwenga.

“We leave it for the courts to decide. But if you see that you have lost the election with one party having an absolute majority in Parliament and you even fail to have agents at all polling stations and then you go to court, I think you will be wasting time.

“But when the court sits on Wednesday next week, whatever comes out of it should be accepted by all parties and we move on for the sake of the country’s development.”

Zanu-PF won the parliamentary poll with a two thirds majority, while President Mnangagwa won the presidential poll after polling 50,8 percent of the total votes cast to MDC-Alliance candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa’s 44,3 percent.

The Constitutional Court is expected to hear the matter on Wednesday next week. Acting President Chiwenga said it was now time to focus on the economy.

“Now that elections are over, we should now focus on developing the country and creating jobs,” he said.

“We should improve our agricultural production to ensure food security and generate income.

“I have seen the good work that is being done here by Arda and that should continue.”

Acting President Chiwenga said Government was working on improving irrigation, especially in the drought-prone Matabeleland South Province.

“The rains are erratic in this region, so we should develop irrigation so that we benefit from the water that we harvest,” he said.

“Irrigation is critical in ensuring that we have production all year round.”

Acting President Chiwenga urged residents in Matobo District to take advantage of Government’s Command Livestock programme and venture into animal husbandry.

He urged Arda to increase hectarage at the farm from the current 650 hectares to 1 000 hectares.

“We want to be a middle-income country by 2030 and that can only be achieved by increasing production,” said Acting President Chiwenga.

Arda has also extended its assistance to surrounding small-scale farmers in Matobo through extension services and outgrower schemes.

Acting President Chiwenga took a swipe at some sections of the media that celebrated the extension of the sanctions regime by the United States, saying the sanctions will affect everyone.

“There are some in the media that have celebrated the sanctions that have been imposed on us and I have asked what kind of people are they,” he said.

“It’s shameful actually. As Zimbabweans, we should not be celebrating that because the sanctions will affect everyone. We should now focus on improving our productivity and shame the detractors.”

Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri said Government was committed to supporting farmers because the sector was critical to food security and the growth of the economy.