Chiefs deny politicising food aid

MASVINGO - Chief Fortune Charumbira, president of the Chiefs Council, has denied allegations of politicisation of food aid by traditional leaders and Zanu PF.

Speaking during the hand over of $4,2 million food aid by the Japanese Embassy at Sipambi Business Centre in Masvingo last Friday, Charumbira dismissed allegations that traditional leaders were fronting Zanu PF to sideline members of opposition parties during the distribution of food aid from donors, humanitarian aid organisations and government.

“We have been accused of being political and politicising food distribution donated to us from our friends and development partners,” Charumbira said.

“But this is not true. We do not politicise food aid because traditional leaders are not political and we are also not directly involved in the actual distribution although we oversee the process.”

Charumbira said traditional leaders were custodians of every villager across the political divide and do not alienate their subjects by denying them food.

The traditional leaders had been under fire from opposition political parties for sidelining their supporters from distribution of food aid and other government programmes such as the farming inputs scheme.

But Charumbira told Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Yenezo Fukuda that the allegations were false.

“We do not know where the accusations are coming from,” he said. “Our duty is to lead our communities and preserve our culture so we can never segregate others and leave them to die.

“The food benefits everyone and there are committees that see to it that everyone gets a fair share of the food aid, contrary to false reports from certain sections of our society.”

Charumbira also urged politicians not to interfere with food aid distribution.

Fukuda expressed his country’s commitment in helping Zimbabwe fight food insecurity.

“Given the severity of food insecurity, World Food Programme is carrying out its seasonal targeted assistance programme and Japan for its part is pleased to have made a contribution of over $4,2 million support initiative,”  Fukuda said.

The country is facing massive food shortages with over 2,2 million people requiring urgent food aid before the next harvest in April.

In Masvingo province, that has been hit by incessant droughts over the past four years, officials say about 300 000 people need food aid before the next harvest.

The Japanese Embassy donated maize to thousands of hungry villagers in  Sipambi who thronged the hand over ceremony.

Comments (1)

Of all people Fortune should just shut up because he is one of those who does it. Who is he trying to fool. Rambai nacho asi vana mai vedu havafe nenzara.

Maita Manyuka - 5 February 2014

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.