Zanu PF accused of politicising food aid

April 26, 2012 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

Villagers in Marange have accused Zanu PF officials co-ordinating the government-sponsored grain loan scheme of politicising the drought relief programme to ensure only their members benefited from the scheme.
Disgruntled villagers, mostly MDC-T supporters, said they were denied food because of their political affiliation.

In Ward 29 there was distribution of maize on April 17 in headman Mukwadas area. The beneficiaries are only sympathisers of Zanu PF while others were told to go and get food from the MDC-T, said Malvern Mudiwa.

He said the area received 512 bags of maize for 15 villages, but instead of sharing them equally, each village got an average of 25 bags while the rest could not be accounted for.

He also said Zanu PF officials had taken over distribution of the grain from Grain Marketing Board (GMB) staff and were demanding that villagers produce political party cards and chant Zanu PF slogans before getting their allocations.

We dont know what happened to close to 200 bags because most of the deserving people, including orphans and the elderly, were turned away empty-handed. The situation is dire in our area and the government should intervene with immediate effect, he said.

Another villager, Allan Chinowaita, said on April 20, GMB officials sent 150 bags for distribution among villagers near Shawambiri business centre, but the maize was given only to known Zanu PF supporters.

The Zanu PF ward chairman came with his register and called out names from that register. Those known to be opposed to Zanu PF were turned away empty-handed, Chinowaita said.

Contacted for comment, the Member of Parliament for the area Shuah Mudiwa said he had taken the matter to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) in Mutare.

Grain loan is supposed to be distributed through traditional leaders. Zanu PF has just hijacked the project and they are using it as a campaign tool in all the wards and particularly Wards 17 and 25 where there is critical shortage of food, said Mudiwa.

This is unacceptable because people should not be sidelined on party lines. GMB should be professional and I have taken the matter to Jomic, he added.

Government introduced the grain loan scheme to cushion drought-stricken people around the country from starvation.

Zanu PF Manicaland provincial chairman Mike Madiro said he was unaware of the issue.

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