His excellency the honourable Chiyembekeza, minister of agriculture and water development has blooped again. He does not understand the role of the press in a democracy. Here’s what happened:
The donors last year advanced their contribution to the FISP for the seed component. So our government, like a child that does not know how to budget its pocket money, used up that money last year. And then sat around for a year, knowing that the money for this year had already been used up. So now the Nation newspaper asks Chiyembekeza how he will deal with the shortage. Instead of explaining how he has overcome the challenge, Chiyembekeza says: how do you know? Why did they tell you?
About six months ago, Chiyembekeza also had a problem with the press: when confronted with the fact that many farmers had coupons, but could not use them due to insufficient supply of fertilizer, he refused to discuss the issue and told the farmers to contact the ministry, instead of the press. Another example of Chiyembekeza refusing to take responsibility for his own performance.
He does not care about good policy, he just has a problem with the press knowing the facts and reporting the news. But, Mr Chiyembekeza, that is the role of the press in a democracy, and you better learn how to deal with it!