Mugabe’s party starves villagers for supporting opposition
From MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – SCORES of Zimbabwean villagers bearing the brunt of drought are being denied access to food aid because they do not support the ruling party of President Robert Mugabe.
Human rights groups reported the selective distribution of food was a tactic by Zanu (PF) to win elections on the back of protests against the party in recent weeks as the economy collapses.
The deliberate exclusion of other citizens in the distribution of food comes ahead of a crucial election scheduled for Norton in Mashonaland West Province, 40 kilometres west of Harare where the seat fell vacant amid the infighting within Zanu (PF).
However, incidents have been reported around the country.
Village heads, chiefs and at times the army, which are loyal to Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) are mostly in charge of the food distribution programme. Known and perceived supporters of such opposition parties as the Movement for Democratic Change and Zimbabwe People First, formed by sacked members of Zanu (PF) are prejudiced.
Opposition party supporters in Buhera, Manicaland Province alleged Councillor Jane Ziki of Zanu (PF) denied them food aid for failure to attend the party’s meetings.
In Masvingo, villagers alleged intimidation by military officers when they raised grievances over their exclusion from the distribution.
In Gormonzi, elderly villagers reported they were forced to participate in a food for work programe while their colleagues supporting Zanu (PF) accessed food by virtue of being senior citizens.
Zimbabwe Peace Project confirmed the skewed distribution of food aid.
“ZPP is worried by the deliberate exclusion of other citizens in the distribution of food when most Zimbabweans are struggling as the food situation is dire considering that most granaries are dry.”
– CAJ News
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