Zanu (PF) hijacks food aid: NGO

Following the announcement of President Robert Mugabe’s intention of holding elections by March 2012, political tension has already begun in some rural areas of Manicaland province.

Zanu (PF) supporters have begun erpetrating violence and intimidation against perceived MDC supporters, while also withholding NGO food aid.

An assessment made in the province last week by the Rural Project Centre revealed incidents of harassment and assault and the hijacking of food distribution in all the districts by Zanu (PF).

Jonathan Musakwa, National Director of RPC, said: “Zanu (PF) has started harassment and assaults on MDC supporters in a stubborn manner in all the major districts. But political violence is severe in Mutare, Makoni, Buhera and Chipinge.”

He added that people’s democratic rights were being violated as Zanu (PF) war veterans and militia were interfering in any MDC meetings.

“Zanu (PF) has taken over the food distribution exercise. But it lacks transparency, accountability and inclusivity. Political affiliation determines one’s chances of getting food or humanitarian assistance,” said Musakwa.

“Public access to food is done through webs of partisan structures, such as ward coordinators, volunteers, village heads, councillors and chairpersons.

“Suspected MDC supporters are having their names removed from the lists that are being submitted to NGO officials. In other cases, targeted individuals are being denied access on false claims that they either had good harvests or that their papers are not in order,” he explained.

The operations of NGOs were also interfered with.

“Those targeted are systematically denied access by refusing to sign letters authorising victims to get medical and other forms of assistance. In some cases ghost names are included on the food beneficiaries’ list where the Zanu (PF) officials will benefit. Party polarisation has affected peoples’ access to community boreholes and dip tanks,” he added.

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