UN food aid only for ZANU PF members

via UN food aid only for ZANU PF members, villagers say | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo on Tuesday, October 15, 2013 

Food donated by relief agencies and meant for all villagers is being selectively distributed to ZANU PF supporters, amid fears of starvation among rural dwellers.

Future, a villager in the Midlands area of Lower Gweru, told SW Radio Africa’s Callback programme Monday that traditional leaders were denying poor and deserving villagers access to the grain, accusing them of being MDC supporters.

Future expressed concern that the grain, in containers bearing the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) label, is being used by ZANU PF to punish and fix perceived political opponents.

He said that on occasions when they have challenged the selective grain distribution, they have been told that “MDC-T supporters should go and get their food from Morgan Tsvangirai”.

Ezra Tshisa Sibanda, the MDC-T losing parliamentary candidate for the Vungu constituency, said he witnessed the WFP grain being offloaded from trucks into the custody of chiefs and councillors.

“I was at an area under Chief Nyama and there was commotion as the WFP containers were being offloaded. When I asked some of the villagers what was happening, they said councillors and sub-chiefs aligned to ZANU PF were distributing the grain to their party’s supporters only.

“The villagers complained that these traditional leaders were responsible for drawing up a list of those deemed eligible. But what is concerning is that regardless of the criteria used, it is only MDC supporters who are affected while ZANU PF supporters always benefit,” Sibanda said.

The villagers said that at times they are denied food on the pretext that their village tax is in arrears. But as Future explained, this is only an issue if someone is a perceived MDC supporter.

Sibanda said even those villagers who had no political affiliation were being punished for it, accused of not voting for the ruling party in the July 31st election.

ZANU PF claims it won not only the Vungu constituency but also the national poll with a “landslide”.

“Through their actions ZANU PF officials are confirming that people in Vungu never voted for the ruling party otherwise they wouldn’t be victimising them.

“Also, this reveals the bankruptcy of ZANU PF promises. They have hijacked food aid meant for all and distributing it as their own because as a party they have nothing to offer to Zimbabweans,” Sibanda added.

Describing the food situation in the rural areas as urgent and devastating, Sibanda said he was concerned that some villagers were in real danger of dying of hunger as ZANU PF was closing any other food distribution avenues.

ZANU PF has traditionally used a carrot and stick approach to food relief. In the past election, the party demanded ZANU PF cards from desperate villagers.

In areas such as Matebeleland South, which are perennially stalked by hunger, President Mugabe food hand-outs were used to buy votes, with promises of more after the election.

Addressing party officials in August, ZANU PF stalwart Simon Khaya Moyo said “the foodstuffs and regalia donated by Mugabe had worked magic” in winning the rural Matebeleland vote for the party.

Going into the 2018 election, Moyo and other ZANU PF leaders have called on their supporters to “finish” or “bury” the MDC. This has raised fears that the ongoing partisan food distribution and other forms of retribution are part of a plan to annihilate the opposition by the next election.

An official at the World Food Programme said she will be in a position to respond on Wednesday to questions regarding their food distribution process.

The agency recently indicated that at least 2.2 million rural dwellers in the country were facing serious hunger.

Once a continental breadbasket, the country has over the past two decades faced serious food insecurity, thanks to ZANU PF’s destructive land policies.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 6
  • comment-avatar
    Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

    The issue of UNWFP Food Aid being hijacked by some political figures is not new at all. It has been going on for years,unless and until there is a complete overhaul in the way WFP conducts it’s business in Zimbabwe, the voiceless are always on the receiving end.

    Where there is glaring evidence of this behaviour and gross manipulation, there is need to suspend operations as it is my understanding that WFP does not in any way conduct business where it’s programmes get politicised. However this kind of (Food Aid)intervention has outlived it’s purpose in Zimbabwe and has basically perpetuated this kind of manipulation by some politicians at village, ward, district and provincial levels.

    The food insecurity situation in Zimbabwe is of our own making and for WFP to be there distributing food is causing more damage to the Zimbabwean people. This chronic food insecurity can never be addressed by this kind of intervention. We are not in a humanitarian situation and Zimbabwe has the resources to look after it’s people.

    Remittances from diamonds are good enough to support the nation. It requires a government that is responsible and accountable to the people. I strongly feel it’s time WFP move out and support other countries that are much more in acute need of food aid support. I appreciate that WFP’s mandate may have changed overtime but it is critical that their programmes are tailor made to address the food insecurity in the longer term than in the short term.

    It is however imperative to note that where food aid is WFP provided there is no politicisation whatsoever. The food belongs to all despite their political affiliation, ZANU, ZAPU, MDC, NDONGA, KUSILE or whatever political party.We all have a choice in supporting whichever party we like and so people shouldn’t punished for that. Hachisi chibage kana hupfu hwe MDC, ZANU, KUSILE, NDONGA OR ZAPU. Most of it comes from donnations from countries that are demeed the enemies of Zimbabwe (the WEST), and it’s absurd really for these uninformed Councillors to be treating their own locals like that.

    Meanwhile, the political dynamics at ward or village level cannot be overlooked. They are very critical when it comes to selecting the people to benefit from such programmes. It’s not surprising to see that the most influencial people in the communities are benefiting at the expense of the voiceless. This is what the entire system of implementation should look at and rigorously ensure it takes on board the most needy. Even Councillors who are better off and in a positin to provide for themselves are benefiting by virtue of them being the gatekeepers. It’s an indirect way to honour them according to community perceptions.

    It’s more than what the eye can see as there is much more going on in undertaking such kind of interventions. True,the programme can not be 100% perfect but if 90% of those benefitting do not meet the criteria, then the programme is misplaced. Please feed those that deserve and let your politcs out of it all.

  • comment-avatar
    Zvapasipano 7 years ago

    We want justice.why can’t ZANU show this?hey wake up ZANU .we are all one people ,one nation mhani.do away with stupid thinking .you are the very people who brought this horrible situation and you want people to die . Mozotonga ani?Mwari vakagopa wani Zuva nemvura to the sinners and even oxygen.Look out there is someone up there watching you. Musazoti hamuna kuyambirwa

  • comment-avatar
    Tjingababili 7 years ago

    STOP IT! LET THE NATIVES DIE!

  • comment-avatar
    Kuzekulunge 7 years ago

    Also in Tsholotsho there is a Zanu PF youth Green Bomber called Polite Dube who refuses with food.he escorts food from Tsholotsho cventre to All Wards with the aim of giving only Zanu people.i represent San people from Sanqinyana Tsholotsho

  • comment-avatar

    Those are what you writers think is happening but contrary to your thoughts the food is not distributed along party lines but according to one ‘s social standing in society starting from the poorest up the ladder.

    • comment-avatar
      Diego Zhaba 7 years ago

      Please don’t lie. We have been there and have worked in this field for a long time. We know much more than that.