Zanu PF must be applauded for the stance they have taken that everyone who deserves food aid must receive it regardless of their party affiliation.
It will seem awkward that the ruling party is being praised for reaffirming a commonsensical view, but history has taught us that Zanu PF and its supporters often use food aid as a campaign tool, effectively blocking out opposition supporters.
It is important that Simon Khaya Moyo, a politburo member, has strongly condemned the partisan distribution of food aid and we hope senior Zanu PF members follow that example and spread the message that food rations are for everyone, regardless of party affiliation.
There are already reports of partisan distribution of food aid, with the Zimbabwe Peace Project documenting some of the cases.
The distribution of food aid along party lines can best be described as evil and intolerance of the highest order.
It is an illustration of the worst type of human relations — where someone is willing to watch their neighbour die from hunger because they belong to a different party or subscribe to a different political philosophy.
Surely we should be mature enough not to let artificial differences divide us and instead, this drought should serve as a rallying point to remind us that we are all Zimbabweans regardless of political affiliation.
Zanu PF must descend heavily on its party members who are implicated in this fiendish practice, as this does not do the party any favours and instead portrays it as an uncaring organisation that is willing to see people starve over petty differences.
The government should also play an active role in ensuring that food aid is not distributed on partisan lines by ordering that grain be distributed at the Local Government ministry’s offices rather than at party offices.
Bureaucrats rather than party apparatchiks should be at the centre of food distribution and they should ensure that no party slogan or regalia is permitted at distribution points.
Distribution points should also be as far as possible from political offices and government officials should ensure that they keep on reminding recipients that the food aid is not from a party, but a government programme.
There is no room for myopic party interests when it comes to food aid because this is a matter of life and death, which we know transcends party affiliation.
We understand that there are political points to be scored from food aid, but this is not the time, as Zimbabwe is suffering from its worst drought in a generation and our instincts and moral duty should be ensuring that everyone survives.
We applaud Moyo for his statement and we call on his colleagues to do the same in their various constituencies to ensure that partisan food aid distribution is barred.