MASVINGO — MDC-T Zaka West MP Festus Dumbu has petitioned the provincial Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) and a local chief over partisan and unfair distribution of government food handouts in the area.
In a letter dated March 31 addressed to Jomic and Chief Nyakunhuwa, Dumbu allegedZanu PF supporters were the only ones receiving food handouts while those from MDC-T were being refused access.
“On behalf of the abused MDC cadres of Zaka West, I register how the traditional leaders of Zaka West on the instruction of Zanu PF structures, have undertaken to abuse the National Grain Loan Scheme for political gain,” read the letter, citing examples in different wards and on different dates in the constituency.
Dumbu challenged anyone who doubted the claims that they could obtain the records of beneficiaries from the Zaka Grain Marketing Board (GMB) depot or the District Administrator (DA)’s records.
“This is just an itemised sample of what took place in the whole ward. Records of the above beneficiaries are obtainable at the Zaka GMB depot and the DA’s office. The beneficiaries were made to pay $4 per 50kg bag of maize,” he said.
Dumbu blasted the traditional leaders for meddling in politics, openly siding with Zanu PF.
“Considering the magnitude of trust the inclusive government has placed on traditional leaders, it is very disturbing and disappointing to realise that the same shepherds of the people are abusing this government facility by discriminating beneficiaries along political lines,” the MP said.
Dumbu called for an end to the practice as well as prosecution of those involved.
“The people of Zaka West demand that this form of abuse of government resources be stopped forthwith and deserving beneficiaries are made to access the grain regardless of political affiliation.
The people of Zaka West also demand that these abusers on record, be investigated and face the wrath of the law, for abusing government resources,” he said.
The MDC-T has for long accused traditional leaders of partisanship, alleging Zanu PF uses food as a political weapon especially towards elections.