FORMER State vice president, Kembo Mohadi will today, Friday, officially open the 74th edition of Mashonaland West Agricultural Show 2022, amid controversy over the criteria used in choosing the guest of honour.

While serving top government officials and captains of industry have traditionally officiated at successive show events, disgraced ex-VP Mohadi’s invitation has set tongues wagging among various stakeholders.

Some quarters argue the show society has politicised the annual exhibition by engaging Mohadi, whose only remaining influential position is that of Zanu PF second secretary and vice president.

In 2020, he resigned from his government job after being embroiled in a sex scandal involving his female aides.

Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) ward councillors, who constitute the bulk of the 15-member host Chinhoyi Municipality chamber, told they were uncomfortable participating at an opening ceremony presided over by Mohadi.

“The show society was spoilt for choice and one wonders why they settled for Mohadi, who never held ministerial portfolios in charge of agriculture, food security, industry or commerce,” said a councillor who requested anonymity.

Chinhoyi mayor, Garikai Dendera confirmed to local newspaper his invitation to this Friday’s ceremony together with all councillors and their spouses.

“The entire council was invited to the event which l hear will curiously be presided over by Mohadi. Yes, l am attending in my capacity as elected representative of the people, and not to endorse Mohadi’s suitability to officiate,” said Dendera

The premier could not be drawn to further comment on whether Mohadi’s stature and social standing was befitting the honour to grace the annual exposition.

Mashonaland West Show Society chairman, Godfrey Mavankeni conceded  Mohadi was not their first preference on the list of possible top guests.

“We would have loved VP Constatino Chiwenga to grace the event, but unfortunately he had other commitments. That is why we then asked Mohadi who was ready available to come since he would be in town for the national clean up exercise on the day,” said Mavankeni.

He insisted Mohadi was invited in his capacity as a “senior citizen” and not as a member of Zanu PF’s presidium.

This year’s show is being held under the theme; “Fostering A Self Sustaining Future, Fostering A Heritage.”

Source NewZimbabwe