Zanu (PF) denies food to MDC-T supporters

Food, healthcare and basic public services are being given on the basis of party affiliation in Uzumba, residents have claimed.

Supporters of parties other than Zanu (PF), in particular the MDC-T, were getting a raw deal, villagers have said.

“When we went to register our names for food aid, we were told that we are puppets of the whites and should therefore go and get assistance from Britain,” said one. The MDC-T losing parliamentary candidate for Uzumba, Peckson Kazingizi, confirmed discrimination against his party members and warned of a looming emergency as food stocks dwindle and vulnerable families become more desperate.

“The names of our people are being left out deliberately because of their political affiliation,” said Kazingizi. “There are needy people who are supposed to be benefiting but they are being deliberately left out. “We have engaged the village heads and councillors on numerous occasions and they are denying the claims yet that is what is happening on the ground.”

Villagers told The Zimbabwean that Zanu (PF) activists had instructed traditional leaders and local councillors to make sure that names of MDC-T activists did not appear on the final lists of beneficiaries of government programmes.

Uzumba is regarded as a Zanu (PF) stronghold, and the district recorded one of the highest cases of political violence in the 2008 elections. Village heads and chiefs, in compliance with Zanu (PF) orders, have vowed to get rid of MDC-T elements in the area by denying them access to basic government services.

“There are people who were told to surrender to Zanu (PF) soon after the elections, but they did not comply with the order. They were openly told that they should not expect to get anything,” said another villager.

Zanu (PF) spokesperson Rugare Gumbo told The Zimbabwean that denial of food assistance or farming inputs to people deemed to be anti-Zanu (PF) was out of touch with his party’s principles.

“I think the President was very clear that such programmes are for all Zimbabweans. If the President said so, then it certainly must be that way.’

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