MDC-T supporters denied food and inputs in Mash East

via MDC-T supporters denied food and inputs in Mash East | SW Radio Africa by Tererai Karimakwenda  December 23, 2013

Officials who work for the government’s agricultural department, Agritex, along with the police, are contributing to the politicization of donated food and government inputs schemes in Mashonaland East, it has been alleged.

According to Piniel Denga, the MDC-T Provincial Chairman, their supporters continue to be denied maize meal, seeds and other inputs that are supposed to be distributed to all hungry villagers in rural areas, regardless of their political affiliation.

Denga said earlier this week he received reports that Agritex officials, especially one named Ngiza, were turning away MDC-T supporters at a distribution centre in Mhou, Chikomba West, which he stressed was a ZANU PF stronghold.

“It was a Councillor and one Agritex official called Mr. Ngiza who was very adamant. He said it is a ZANU PF programme and not a government programme. When I tried to phone he would not answer his phone. It’s so frustrating in the rural areas,” Denga told SW Radio Africa.

He added: “Desperate villagers are being denied this support and when they report to the police they are told this is a ZANU PF government and you should know where your bread is being buttered.”

Denga also named Chief Nyamukoho as one of the traditional leaders chasing away MDC-T supporters from distribution points in the Mutoko area and threatening to evict them from their villages.

“They are saying if you come here we will humiliate you, harass you and chase you away because you are supporting regime change in Zimbabwe. As chiefs we belong to ZANU PF and the ZANU PF government supports us,” Denga explained.

The MDC-T provincial chairman said food distribution is a humanitarian issue which government should take seriously. He also believes that the NGOs should assist all those who are not being supported by government.

Traditional chiefs and sabhukus play a key role in Zimbabwean culture and Denga said they used to be respected individuals in rural communities but they have “sold out” to ZANU PF.

“We are saying to our traditional leaders that as MDC-T we also love them. We believe in our traditions. But they must know that the money they get comes from the taxes that we pay to government. So they must assist all villagers regardless of political persuasion”