'Food aid politicisation affecting children'

HARARE - Children are the hardest-hit by Zanu PF’s continued politicisation of food aid and abuse of other government-sponsored programmes, the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has said.

In a statement, ZPP, an organisation that monitors peace in communities, said children are now suffering because of their parents’ political affiliation.

The Jestina Mukoko-led ZPP said the recent report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), which nailed Zanu PF for being partisan when distributing food aid, is spot-on.

“Schoolchildren have also been affected where the Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) has been denied to children on the basis of their parents and/or guardians being suspected to hold different political views.

“In the 2014 audit, the auditor-general expressed concern that due to bungling, some $2 million earmarked for Beam was returned while children of those suspected to support the opposition failed to have their fees paid,” the organisation said.

ZPP said that it has evidence from across the country on the discrimination and flagrant denial of food and other aid to members of the opposition.

“For 10 years, since 2006, ZPP has been monitoring food distribution across Zimbabwe and would like to publicly concur with the findings made by ZHRC, which indicate that food meant for Zimbabweans most affected by the El Nino-induced drought and those under-privileged, wallowing in poverty is distributed on partisan grounds,” ZPP said.

The organisation further said that the distribution of food and other aid on partisan basis is a deep-seated problem in Zimbabwe, which has affected many people that are known to belong to the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC and the Zimbabwe People First led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru.

ZPP, which claims to have recorded hundreds of cases where people were denied food aid, said President Robert Mugabe should not criticise ZHRC, which is supposed to be an independent commission.

After ZHRC uncharacteristically let rip into Zanu PF, an irate Mugabe came out guns blazing, accusing the Elasto Mugwadi-chaired commission of peddling falsehoods.

“The comments of the president are not fully representative of the situation on the ground. Rather than attack the ZHRC, the president would be in a better position if he took a lead from the statement of the commission to fully assess the situation on the ground rather than rely on reports he gets from Zanu PF,” read the ZPP statement.

Comments (1)

chokwadi vamwe vanhu vane zvivi pasi pano. denying someone something that you are not providing, that is not yours. honestly how heartless. and you claim to be with intergrity and love for people. your children are in abundance without lack and even spoilt for choice. this is just being severely without heart at all. how do you then hope to gain their respect and support. as leaders are you not supposed to do good to gain our support. is the vote not gained by doing good, being progressive and standing and working for the good of the people. you definitely do not have my vote mr president.

p - 16 September 2016

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