Zanu PF MP begs for British aid

HARARE - Zanu PF MP Biata Nyamupinga gushed at British ambassador Deborah Bronnert last week, begging the envoy for more aid.

At a time her party has identified Britain as one of its foremost enemies, Nyamupinga appeared out of tune.

But then it is not the first time she has been caught in the crosshairs of political allegiance versus daily and family needs.

Nyamupinga had the task of introducing Bronnert to guests at the commemoration of 16 days against gender-based violence campaign and went on to shower praises at the diplomat in ways that could have made hard core Zanu PF officials shift in discomfort.

Bronnert is a woman with “Zimbabwe at heart” doing a great job in channelling funds to the vulnerable and abused women in the country, she said.

“Please note that we have in our presence Britain’s first female ambassador to Zimbabwe, handpicked by the queen to serve you.

“Her Excellency the ambassador has been studying the current affairs of Zimbabwe since she was a teenager, and is passionate about the Zimbabwean plight,” Nyamupinga said while introducing the envoy.

Nyamupinga’s appeal for foreign investment comes shortly after President Robert Mugabe blasted Western countries for creating dependency in Africa through foreign aid at the recently-ended Zanu PF annual conference.

“We have all the resources to cater for everyone so foreigners should not think they can come to us and make us slaves, they can keep their funding, Zimbabwe will never beg,” he said.

Bronnert promised Nyamupinga, who is also the chairperson for the parliamentary women’s caucus, that her government would shift goal posts and channel the majority of its aid towards gender main-streaming projects.

According to the ambassador, Britain channelled $140 million in donor funds to Zimbabwe this year alone.
After the economic meltdown of the last decade, Zimbabwe has been relying on donor funds to ward off mass starvation, disease outbreaks and prop the education sector.

According to the Zimbabwe Vulnerability Assessment (ZimVAC) report results released this year, nearly one in five rural people in the country — an estimated 1,6 million people — are likely to need food assistance during the peak of the coming “hunger season ”.

The number of people in need is 60 percent higher than those who needed food assistance during the last lean season.

The assessment, which estimates national food insecurity levels, is conducted annually by the government in collaboration with UN agencies and non-governmental organisations.

For Nyamupinga, a simple job to introduce the British envoy could provide internal Zanu PF political rivals with fodder to attack her.

But she is no new to this. She is still smarting from being accused of trashing Mugabe’s presidential inputs scheme as partisan. She denies the accusations.

Before that, she was playing dutiful sister to paper relations between Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and younger sister, Locardia Karimatsenga, one of the premier’s string of scorned women.

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