‘Bumper harvest to stop aid politicisation’

Source: ‘Bumper harvest to stop aid politicisation’ – DailyNews Live

Bernard Chiketo      16 February 2017

MUTARE – MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday said projected good
harvests will undermine President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF’s capacity to
abuse poor rural voters by politicising food aid.

Speaking to journalists after meeting church leaders, civic leaders and
businesspeople here, the indefatigable opposition leader said while there
was fear of intimidation, the ability of rural farmers to be
self-sustaining would afford them a degree of independence to choose
political leaders of their choice.

“There is fear among the people, especially the abuse of traditional
leaders by Zanu PF whether it is food distribution, discriminatory food
distribution and the role of traditional leaders in targeting MDC
supporters . . .

“We also were witness to the fact that this year is different because
there is a very substantial crop that is healthy, so potential for food
subsidies is minimal and people are happy that the rains have provided
them with an opportunity for self-sustenance.

“If people have been exploited when there is a drought situation, surely
if there is no drought situation there will not be opportunity to exploit
the poor in the rural areas. But even where there is drought, government
must be able to provide aid to everyone without bias or discrimination,”
Tsvangirai said.

With violence being targeted, especially at traditional leaders who have
expressed interest in working with his party, the MDC leader took a stance
of barring media coverage of the consultations to protect the identity of
the participants.

He said intimidation remains a big area of concern across the country,
describing it as a “very big aspect” going into the 2018 elections.

In this light, Tsvangirai said, people expressed concern at the neutrality
of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) and involvement of the security
establishment in tilting the vote in favour of Zanu PF.

“Fundamentally, people are concerned about past practices and that we need
a free fair and credible electoral process.

“There were others who were expressing concern about the endorsement that
sometimes comes from Sadc, AU when the situation is not free and fair so
the question of monitoring the election becomes very critical. We are,
however, assured that the United Nations is involved through the support
of the purchase of biometric equipment, I’m sure they are going to spend
over $200 million,” the MDC leader said.

He also said people were generally worried about “governance issues that
have led to the collapse of the socio-economic situation in the country”.

“We are encouraging people to register, go and vote and defend your vote,”
Tsvangirai said.


  • comment-avatar
    BARAMANZA 5 years ago

    Morgan you are wrong .The good rains have put ZANU PF at an advantage big time. If people have food on their table through benefit of land reform and government policy of command agriculture there is no way a sensible person who benefited from land reform will vote for any opposition party.So come 2018 ZANU PF will be victorious mark my word.

    • comment-avatar
      Chatham House 5 years ago

      Correct. Command Agriculture is from Joint Operation Command to control the food to the people to make sure that they vote correctly. Food, or operation short sleeev, or operation long sleeve are Zanu methods of re-education in the same manner as the Gukuruhundi was. In the case of the Gukuruhundi – 20 000 people failed to be re-educated by Zanu so they just put down and buried at Bahlagwe. Simple but true. Then Mugabe was given a Knighthood and a State visit to The Empire.