HARARE – Zanu PF MP for Chegutu West Dexter Nduna has urged party members to stop politicisation of food aid in his constituency.
Speaking at a rally in Chegutu recently Nduna who was donating rice said it was important for politicians to move away from partisan distribution of food.
“Everyone in my constituency must get food aid despite one’s political affiliation. I want to urge all Zanu PF supporters that even those you saw wearing MDC T-shirts they have the right to receive food aid.
“Everyone must see that Zanu PF is a party with people at heart by fair distribution of food.
“I even want the MDC candidate for this constituency to attend this event so that he can also receive his share.
“We must know that we are all Zimbabweans and we all need food for our survival.
“Zanu PF under our new president Emmerson Mnangagwa wants to see people of Zimbabwe united.”
Nduna’s sentiments come after the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) last year said Zanu PF is the major perpetrator of the politicisation of food aid in drought-stricken areas.
The findings came after investigations by ZHRC in food insecure areas that include Bikita East, Buhera North, Mazowe Central, Muzarabani North and South and Zvimba South.
“The ruling party members were the major perpetrators in violations linked to distribution of food, agricultural inputs and other forms of aid,” ZHRC chairperson Elasto Mugwadi said then.
In Bikita and Buhera, he said, people affiliated to opposition political parties were being excluded from food for work programmes while grievances by opposition affiliates with regards to food aid were not attended to in Mazowe.
Mugwadi said in Bikita East and Mazowe Central investigators found out that Zanu PF youths, who were not part of the distribution committees, had bulldozed their way into the disbursement of food aid and agricultural inputs.
Also last year, Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe Gera Sneller warned government against politicising food aid.
Sneller argued that everyone in need of food aid must be assisted, regardless of which political party he/she belongs to.
Zimbabwe Peace Project also released a report in April last year which indicated that traditional leaders and councillors excluded members of opposition political parties from accessing food aid.
The Famine Early Warning Systems Network has estimated that there are currently 1,6 million people in dire need of food assistance.
Zimbabwe — among the sourthern African countries ravaged by the El Nino-induced drought — saw the number of food insecure people rise from 2,8 million to 4,1 million in 2016.