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Gono's statement on the 2007/8 Farm Mechanization Program

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT:THE 2007/8 Farm Mechanization Program was above Board and No Rural or Commercial Farmer was ever asked to Pay for the Equipment. ——————————— 1.First of all, I must express my prima-facie disappointment with my brother and friend of long time, Dr Magaisa for appearing not to have thoroughly read the RBZ Debt Assumption Bill which became Act in 2015. I say so because had he seemingly done so and gone through what Parliament approved , including the supporting schedules that make up the $1,3billion debt taken over by Government, he would have noticed that there is no reference to a Farm Mechanisation Program Debt there let alone a figure of $200m allegedly taken over by Government and saddled on the taxpayer via that Debt Assumption Bill of Act. There is none and no heading or description to that effect. 2.In this article, I have used the same document that Parliament used at that time and tried to summarize from it, because it’s a public document, the makeup of the RBZ debt taken over and the period during which such debt was contracted and for what purpose. 3.It was interesting to note that 24% of the debt taken over ($309,9m)was from period 1976/7 to 2001 and the balance (76%)($962,1m)was for the ten year period that I was Governor of the RBZ, with $578,9m(60%)of that amount being borrowed for fuel and electricity, $294,5m(31%) for maize, Fertilisers, chemicals and seed, $24,3m(2,5%) going to cars for ministries and special programs like Bacossi, $26,5m (2,8%) being used for mineral audits by an international firm of experts and $7,5m(1%) being borrowed to meet mandatory retrenchment packages in 2011/12.Tobacco Farmers accrued Support stood at $22,5m( 2%) and Health and interest claims stood at $7,9m(1%). 4.Farm Mechanisation is not part of any of the amounts mentioned above NEITHER does it feature as a take-over debt by the State in term of that Bill or Act, and so one wonders where the conclusion that the taxpayer was or has been saddled with a $200m debt through the RBZ Debt Assumption Act is coming from. It is important to also state upfront that I had already retired and left the Bank in 2013 when the Debt Assumption Bill was crafted and gazetted in 2014 and subsequently passed into law in 2015. I cannot therefore be accused of have had a hand in its crafting or makeup two years after retiring. I have analyzed what is in the public domain and used my knowledge and documentation of facts to arrive at what I have just given out. 5.I hope it is the same Bill and supporting documents that we are referring to and thus if we start from there, it will be clear that a serious misrepresentation has been fed to the public and taxpayer. 6.Having said that , I state openly that I was Governor in charge of the RBZ-driven Government Farm Mechanisation Program during the most trying period of our country’s history, and to this end, I can speak more authoritatively and factually than most people as I was firmly in charge of that program myself. 7.This pioneering program had, like any other new initia

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