Zanu PF looters face jail: PM

MASVINGO - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned Zanu PF members against politicising and looting government food aid, warning they face jail for stealing.

Responding to pleas from villagers who complained bitterly to him that Zanu PF officials were looting from the government’s grain loan scheme, Tsvangirai called on villagers to report the culprits as it was a criminal offence.

He was speaking to villagers at Bhasera Business Centre’s Chin’ombe Rural Hospital during a tour of a Constituency Development Fund-bankrolled project in Gutu Central.

“Those who are looting the government food aid should be arrested,” he said.

“What you need to do is to report their names to your MP’s and councillors so that they come to us and we press charges against them. It is a criminal offence to loot and politicise food aid,” Tsvangirai said.

The villagers had pleaded with the Premier to help them deal with looters whom they accused of grabbing and shamelessly carting away the loot to their homes at a time hunger and starvation was tightening its grip.

Tsvangirai said government was mobilising food aid for those facing severe drought.

“The government is aware of food shortages in the rural areas and we will make sure that no one will die of hunger,” Tsvangirai said.

“We will source food for you. The food is meant for everyone regardless of the political party you support. No one has the right to deny others food aid because they are from MDC or Zanu PF, the food is for everyone.”

The premier said it boggles his mind when people from some political parties loot food from government meant for feeding people.

He said it was unfair to deny hungry people their allocations because of the intended recipient’s political affiliation, adding that government programmes should be politics-free.

“It boggles my mind when someone says this person from this party should not get food aid when it is coming from government,” he said.

“The drought is affecting everyone regardless of which party you support, therefore anyone who loots food that belongs to the people will be arrested and will go to jail.”

He said people should stop discriminating each other along political lines because the principals had closed ranks and were not fighting anymore.

“While you are busy fighting and denying each other food here along party lines, us your leaders will be drinking tea together and we will be sharing sugar, so this has to come to an end and you should live together harmoniously,” he said.

Tsvangirai was assessing a CDF project in Gutu central where local Member of Parliament Oliver Chirume invested the fund in transforming the face of education facilities and hospitals in the constituency.

Chirume has built teachers’ houses at Mushayavanhu Primary and Secondary Schools, a female hostel at Mutero Mission High School, painted class room blocks at Guzha school before buying a generator for Chin’ombe Hospital where expecting mothers used to give birth under candle light. - Godfrey Mtimba

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