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MP Marapira fingered in missing 646 knapsacks

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MP Marapira fingered in missing 646 knapsacks


Garikai Mafirakureva

MASVINGO – Masvingo North MP, Davis Marapira has been implicated in a case of 646 Presidential Scheme knapsacks that are supposed to be distributed to villagers but whose whereabouts are now not clear.

Sources said that Marapira collected the knapsacks valued at US$13 566 from Masvingo GMB last Monday and there are indications that he could have stashed them away so he could use them for his 2023 election campaign.

“Yes, I can confirm that I collected the knapsacks at GMB for distribution, but I handed them to one of my councillors and he is safely keeping them. Everyone who is supposed to get a knapsack is going to get it.

“What I know all these assertions are political. I don’t know why people are fighting me because I am not going to stand in Masvingo North. As you know I am now in Zaka,” said Marapira.

Marapira told The Mirror that after collecting the knapsacks he gave them to Stephen Munyenyiwa who is councillor for Ward 32.

Contacted for comment, Munyenyiwa said he never received the knapsacks. He said that the knapsacks are at Marapira’s farm which is just outside Masvingo along Masvingo-Mbalabala Highway.

“The knapsacks are currently at MP Marapira’s farm. We could not distribute them because the Central Committee is in the constituency doing cell verification,” said Munyenyiwa.

When told that the knapsacks were said to be at his farm, Marapira turned around and said that he would need to check.

The sources also said Marapira is determined to block Pascal Mudzikisi and Albert Mangena, the other candidates seeking Zanu PF ticket in the Masvingo North elections.

Other sources told The Mirror that Marapira handed over the knapsacks to Brian Mudhumi who is said to be one of the aspiring candidates for the Zanu PF primary elections. The sources said that Mudhumi is Marapira’s favourite candidate as Marapira himself is now switching constituencies to go to Zaka.

The Mirror called Mudhumi to verify information that the knapsacks were at his Rhodene house but the person who answered the phone said he was not Mudhumi, but calls had been diverted to his line.

GMB spokesperson, Joe Katete referred all the questions to Provincial Arex officer.

The knapsacks are part of the Presidential Agriculture Input Scheme to support farmers, but provincial Agricultural Research Extension (AREX) officer, Nobert Masiiwa could not disclose to The Mirror the number of knapsacks the country received through the Presidential Scheme and how many each province got by the time of going to Press.

The procedure of distribution of goods under the Presidential Scheme is that all the councillors, some officials from Zanu PF and AREX employees are supposed to be part of the distribution team.

Masvingo Rural District Council chairperson, Albert Mangena professed ignorance over the issue. He said it is councillors who are supposed to accompany AREX officials during the distribution of such knapsacks but the local authority is not even aware that the knapsacks were collected.

“I am not aware that the knapsacks were collected. As councillors were supposed to be notified so that we accompany Agritex officials for distribution,” Mangena.

The case happens barely nine months after President Mnangagwa fired Marapira’s co-deputy Agriculture Minister, Douglas Karoro for allegedly stealing over 700 tonnes of fertilizer and maize seed distributed under a state-sponsored program.

Gokwe MP Justice Wadyejena was also arrested in August last year together Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (COTTCO) bosses for allegedly defrauding the parastatal of US$5 million through the fictitious purchase of goods purportedly for use by the company.

Wadyajena then applied for removal from remand and this was granted on the grounds that of delays in the completion of investigations.

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