Zimbabwe opposition allegedly starved of food aid


World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director for Zimbabwe, Francesca Erdelmann with Zimbabwe Permanent Secretary for Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare, Simon Masanga. File photo

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE ruling party in Zimbabwe is accused of denying opposition supporters food aid as the country endures its worst drought crisis in decades.

Human rights groups have denounced the trend, which has been blamed on the governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), in connivance with traditional leaders.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has unearthed the partial distribution of food aid.

This is part of a compilation of human rights violations in the month of March, when it documented a total of 167 violations.

“Major cases were on partisan distribution and mal-administration of relief aid, political violence and harassment,” ZPP stated.

ZPP said the violations included intimidation and harassment, violations of the right to equality and non-discrimination, right to life and right to assembly and association.

There were cases of assault in which 13 violations were committed against the right to personal security.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations expressed concern.

It stated that notably, ruling party ZANU-PF MP distributed rations in Gobhi village in Matabeleland North province, while they pressured villagers to either join their party or face exclusion from aid.

Moreover, the village head in Ward Fifteen of the ancient Masvingo province allegedly convened supporters of opposition leader Nelson Chamisa’s “Blue Movement” and threatened to remove them from the beneficiary list.

Food has been a campaign tool in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980.

In April, the government of President Emmmersom Mnangagwa declared a state of emergency amid drought in the Southern African country.

– CAJ News

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