NORTON legislator, Temba Mliswa (independent) yesterday exposed Zanu PF’s partisan food distribution, telling Parliament that during his tenure as the ruling party’s provincial chairman, he had received orders that government-sourced food aid was only meant to benefit ruling party supporters.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Mliswa spilled the beans after Public Service deputy minister Tapiwa Matangaidze had denied allegations of partisan food distribution.
“When I was chairman of Zanu PF (Mashonaland Central), we used to be ordered to distribute food to our party members only. Is the deputy minister now telling us that the system has changed?” he asked.
“The moment I became an independent MP, I was no longer called to collect food to distribute to vulnerable people, and how does the minister then claim there is no partisan distribution of food?”
But, Matangaidze insisted opposition activists had also benefited, accusing Mliswa of having a hand in the scam when he was Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairperson.
“Mliswa was very irresponsible in what he was doing because government policy is very clear that we do not condone distribution of food in a partisan manner. President Robert Mugabe himself said no one must be denied food aid,” Matangaidze said.
Other MPs, including Zanu PF members, claimed their vulnerable constituencies were not accessing food aid.
Bulawayo Central MP, Dorcas Sibanda (MDC-T) demanded to know the role of the police in food distribution, while Southertom MP, Gift Chimanikire (MDC-T) claimed Centenary Central Intelligence Organisation operatives were removing names of opposition supporters from the list of vulnerable beneficiaries.
Matangaidze said the police only preserved peace in food distribution.
Mliswa was kicked out of Zanu PF as part of a brutal purge in 2014 at a time former Vice-President Joice Mujuru was also booted on allegations of plotting to topple President Robert Mugabe.
The former Hurungwe West MP then bounced back into Parliament late last year after winning the Norton by-election.