Mupfumira chickens out of MDC-T rally

PUBLIC Service minister Prisca Mupfumira has reportedly chickened out of an audacious invitation to attend an MDC-T rally and distribute food aid.

BY RICHARD CHIDZA

Mupfumira was invited by Mutasa Central MP Trevor Saruwaka to attend a rally in Honde Valley today after she challenged legislators to allow her to explain government policy regarding the distribution of food aid.

Saruwaka had quizzed Mupfumira on whether her ministry was aware of a Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission report saying there was partisan distribution of food aid with opposition supporters being denied grain.

The MDC-T legislator then wrote to Mupfumira early this week, inviting her to a rally. But yesterday Saruwaka claimed Mupfumira had been sending him from pillar to post.

“She is chickening out. She has not even had the decency to meet me or respond in writing. Instead I have had to make do with a lame excuse from her personal assistant. She is trying to give me a verbal answer that she is unable to attend, but wants feedback from the rally without indicating if we are going to get the grain.

“We want her even to send a representative, that is good enough for us. They must do the same things they do at Zanu PF rallies. They give grain to their supporters knowing well that our supporters do not attend their rallies or would be forced to because they want to get food. That is unconstitutional and a clear violation of the freedom of association as well as abuse of the aid,” Saruwaka said.

Efforts to get a comment from Mupfumira were fruitless yesterday, as she was said to be in meetings at the
President’s Office.

President Robert Mugabe has also rejected suggestions that his government is denying opposition supporters food.

But Saruwaka said he had also been asked to meet a senior official identified as Takangovada.

“She was only directed to explain to me the procedure that government uses to give people food aid. She was waffling about the role of district and provincial administrators. We know these people are useless at Zanu PF rallies, unless they are telling us these government agencies are part of the ruling party as well,” he said.

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