By MOSES MATENGA
Opposition MDC leader Nelson Chamisa has pleaded with the donor community to immediately intervene and stop Zanu PF from capitalising on the humanitarian crisis and using donated food to garner votes.
This comes as millions of Zimbabweans are facing starvation due to drought while the economy remains on a free-fall.
“I want to appeal to those assisting with humanitarian aid to ensure the food is not abused for political purposes. In this country, food has become a partisan tool to manipulate our people in a food-for-vote scheme,” Chamisa said in an interview.
“I am appealing to the international community to assist the suffering people of Zimbabwe and those who are vulnerable due to the current crisis.”
The opposition leader said he had received complaints from several villagers who were being denied food aid because of their political affiliation.
“That is a crime against humanity. Life is not partisan and food can never be used as a weapon of political subjugation,” he said.
Chamisa thanked several countries and organisations that have continuously supported with food aid, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Care International, India, Botswana and South Africa, among others.
“Zimbabweans are going through a tough time and we want to thank those who have stood in solidarity with us through the tough times,” he said.
“The darkest hour is before dawn. We have a humanitarian crisis of extreme proportion. We are facing mass starvation and I have gone to rural areas in Tsholotsho, Mashonaland Central, Manicaland and other areas and the situation is dire.
“We are appealing for an emergency rescue plan as we are faced with a major disaster. It is important to talk about democracy, but democracy is only meaningful to loving people. It doesn’t help dead bodies.”
Millions are facing starvation due to the prevailing drought that has also seen livestock dying in rural areas due to lack of pasture and water.