Zanu PF has been accused of denying MDC-T supporters wheat and rice that was donated by President Robert Mugabe to areas affected by drought, on the grounds the food was meant for card-carrying members.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma
Matobo Senator Sithembile Mlotshwa (MDC-T) told NewsDay that party supporters were sidelined after Zanu PF influenced the appointment of focal persons in charge of distributing food.
Matobo is one of the areas worst affected by food shortages after a dry spell hit the southern parts of the country.
Last year the district lost hundreds of cattle due to drought.
Mlotshwa said councillors who are supposed to distribute the food were sidelined as most wards belonged to the MDC-T while a few that were held by Zanu PF councillors were allowed to distribute the food.
Mlotshwa said last week MDC-T supporters were turned away at a school in Gohole where wheat was being distributed to villagers.
“I went to the school myself and discovered that the wheat was imported from China,” she said.
“I was told that supporters of the MDC-T were told to move away as the wheat was meant for card-carrying Zanu PF members only.
“Some of the wheat was distributed at a shop belonging to a known Zanu PF activist in a move to frustrate the MDC-T supporters.”
But Zanu PF Matabeleland South chairman Andrew Langa refuted the allegations, saying it was not his party’s policy to discriminate on the basis of party
affiliation in the distribution of food.
“I am not aware of that and I doubt that anyone could consider party affiliation when distributing food meant for Zimbabweans,” he said.
“Zanu PF, in any case, is not responsible for distributing the rice, but village heads.
“If she (Mlotshwa) is genuine, she should raise the matter with the District Administrator’s office.
“If any one distributes food on partisan lines, then I do not know where they are getting it from because that is not our policy as a province and as Zanu PF.”
However, Mlotshwa insisted that Zanu PF was barring MDC-T supporters from getting food aid. She said the plight of the villagers had been further worsened by the hailstorm that destroyed homesteads in the area and also hit Mangwe district at the weekend.
“Now imagine, we have homeless people affected by the hailstorm, they are busy trying to rebuild their homes, but how are they going to achieve that on empty stomachs?” she said.
“I have raised the matter (alleged partisan food distribution) with Deputy Prime Minister (Thokozani) Khupe who raised it in Cabinet last week.”