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Mugabe urged to intervene in food aid politicisation

October 30, 2013

Opposition political parties yesterday urged President Robert Mugabe to intervene and stop his Zanu-PF officials from politicising food aid.

MDC-T national organising secretary Nelson Chamisa told NewsDay that members of his party, mostly those based in rural areas, had been denied government food aid because of their political affiliation.

“The reports are just painfully overwhelming. This morning alone (yesterday) I received calls from Gokwe, Mutoko, Hurungwe, Murewa and other areas from people complaining of Zanu-PF actions of politicising food aid,” Chamisa said.

“It’s inhuman, they are behaving like the Al-Shabaab or Boko Haram (a Nigerian Islamic terrorist organisation that has targeted Christians and killed thousands) and we want that to stop. If that is their way of campaigning, it is a wrong strategy because they are starving people. We will make sure the issue is addressed and all people benefit. If they are going to starve people, they are not fit to govern this country. You and I are paying tax and our tax is used to buy food which should be given to all the people.”

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) spokesperson Blessing Vava said his party also received reports of partisan distribution of food handouts by top Zanu-PF officials in rural areas where an estimated 2,2 million people were said to be urgently in need of food aid.

“The NCA is gravely disappointed by reports of Zanu-PF’s partisan distribution of food aid. The fact that they are now the government means that it is their full responsibility to feed, to provide aid to those facing starvation and not those who are in Zanu-PF alone. Food aid must be distributed equitably, and there must be a transparent process to make sure that those in need benefit,” Vava said.

“It’s not a party, but government programme. It’s quite disturbing to hear reports of chaos and partisanship distribution in some parts of the country.”

In a separate interview, MDC deputy national spokesperson Kurauone Chihwai said the Zanu-PF stance was a reflection of the party’s greed and hostility towards opposing voices.

“That’s Zanu-PF by nature. People know that, but these are things bought by the State using the taxpayer’s money and they should not abuse that for anything,” he said.

Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo dismissed the allegations as untrue.

“That’s nonsense. The President is not only President for Zanu-PF. He is everyone’s President and he said food is for everyone,” Gumbo said.

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