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‘Don’t politicise food’

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Former Zipra cadre Agrippa Madlela has called for a ban on use of food hampers to lure voters during election campaign periods.

Madlela described dangling food hampers in front of hungry voters as “psychological violence”.

“Food and other material donations by political parties in the run-up and during elections must be banned,” he said.

“This is psychological violence to the electorate who may feel threatened by the situation if they decide to vote against those who give them food. Parties without material donations but which have clear policies that may promote progress in the country are shunned.

Zapu encourages the selling of policies to the electorate rather than bribing them in the pretext that a party is genuinely helping them.”

Madlela said those with more access to resources always win even if they do not have sound election manifestos.

Zanu PF has been accused of doling out food hampers during elections while at the same time barring non-governmental organisations from carrying out the exercise.

The former ruling party is on record accusing NGOs of using food as a tool for effecting regime change.

Tuesday, Zanu PF politburo member and Umguza MP, Obert Mpofu, accused NGOs of shunning Zanu PF-led constituencies in preference of areas led by other parties.

But Madlela said: “The parties in the current government no longer know how to convince the electorate on their policies. They are just resorting to vote-buying through food donations. If it is not vote-buying, it is violence to force people into voting for them. This is not healthy for the country and must stop.”

Madlela added it was unfair for politicians to continue unleashing violence on the electorate saying they had borne a lot of violence since the pre-independence era.

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