'Zanu PF politicising food aid'

HARARE - Zanu PF is the major perpetrator of the politicisation of food aid in drought-stricken areas, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has said.

The finding is on the back of an investigation 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 told journalists in Harare yesterday.

He said investigators found out that food distribution was on partisan basis in Muzarabani’s wards 6 and 17, with politicians interfering with the processes.

“The long and short of the findings or outcomes of the investigations was that there was unbridled maladministration on the part of some public officials who were allegedly performing their duties partially and with bias against persons of particular political affiliations in contravention of the provisions of the Public Service Regulations SI1 of 2000 which requires public officials to be apolitical and discharge their duties impartially and objectively, ” Mugwadi said.

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.

“Furthermore, the investigators were informed that in the two districts, elder persons who were not politically active but have family members such as children and grandchildren who are affiliated to the opposition parties were also being denied food aid,” he said.

ZHRC’s findings come a week after 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.

Also, the Zimbabwe Peace Project released a report in April 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 this year.

Comments (1)

I would like to think that this is ZANU PF food. If it is food through International or National Non Governmental Organisations, the blame goes to these Organisations, which should be on the forefront of defending rights, they preach about everyday and which form the core of their values. If they can not speak against this, including UNICEF, then they should simply shut up forever as they are clueless toothless dogs, which can neither bark nor bite.

Zvichapera - 8 September 2016

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