24 of the 100 heifers donated to Buhera villagers four months ago by Vice President Constantine Chiwenga under the Heifer Pass on Scheme to replenish thousands of herds of cattle lost to bovine theileriosis (tick disease) have since died.
The heifers which were meant for villagers were looted by senior Zanu PF officials in the district deminsihed due to the drought, lack of supplements and proper care, revealed sources.
The incessant rains in the last few weeks have also brought in a new challenge.
Buhera District veterinary officer, Doctor Samson Chiduku said his office is incapacitated to monitor the project and he therefore does not have necessary information on the heifers.
“We don’t have fuel to monitor the heifers. We therefore have not visited the farmers and do not have information on the current situation ,” said Dr Chiduku.
Efforts to get a comment from Buhera Zanu PF chairman Saul Nzuma were futile.
Sources said apart from the supplements, the heifers were also badly affected by the incessant rains that overwhelmed the country over the last few weeks.
Some farmers have resorted to selling their heifers for US$100 when they became too weak to walk while others are slaughtering them for meat.
Farmers who received the heifers are supposed to keep them and pass them on when they have new calves . On the contrary the programme has therefore been severely incapacitated by the 24 deaths.
The scheme became one of the many badly managed Government projects which ended up just being a merry go round.
The heifers were distributed amongst Zanu PF hierarchy officials which included Nzuma councillors, chiefs, headmen and their respective family members.
Source: The Mirror Masvingo