Tuesday 10 December 2019


The MDC councillor for Ward 19 in Zaka Peter Imbayarwo has been barred from distributing food aid and Presidential inputs as Zanu PF has now taken full control of welfare allocation in Masvingo Province.

Imbayarwo confirmed the development in an interview with The Mirror and said politicisation of food was more brazen now than it was at the time of the late Mugabe.
Zaka District Development Co-ordinator Victor Zinhanga confirmed that villagers were putting on party regalia during food distribution. He said this was because Zimbabweans have become so poor they have nothing else to wear.

A United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food , Hilal Elver who toured Zimbabwe in the last few weeks has made a scathing attack on Zimbabwe’s politicisation of food and her partial report that was released in Harare on Thursday last week identified Masvingo as one of the worst affected provinces.

Elver said a full report on her investigations is going to be released in March next year and the negative findings are likely to affect Zimbabwe’s campaign to have sanctions lifted against it.

Zanu PF denies certain Zimbabweans aid despite that the food and seed is bought using the tax payer’s money contributed to by all citizens.

“They told me that the food aid was sourced by President Mnangagwa and I and any perceived MDC supporters can only get aid from opposition leader Chamisa.

“They said izvi ndezva ED (this aid belongs to ED). All aid allocations in the district now 
takes place while beneficiaries are putting on party regalia and are chanting party slogans and threatening opposition supporters with death.

“This happens while the Police is there,” said Imbayarwo.
He said that on November 19 this year at Old N Richards at Jerera Growth Point only 500 out of 8000 households eligible for the presidential inputs benefited and these were chosen on party lines.

He said before the distribution of the inputs Zanu PF local leadership led by ward chairman Milton Chikwenhere and women’s league chairperson Juliet Chari chanted slogans. The matter was reported to the Police but there is no action that has been taken up to now.
Chikwenehre said he was driving and would call later when approached for comment. He however did not return thr call until te time of going to Press.

Chari could not be reached for comment by the time of going to Press.
“The rule here is that you don’t benefit from Government aid as long as you are an MDC supporter. In the past MDC supporters would be allowed to attend the food distribution meetings but since Mnangagwa got into power MDC supporters are barred from places where allocations take place.

“I as a councillor who has a mandate to allocate food together with village heads has since been barred,” said Imbayarwo.

He said that he reported the matter to Zinhanga but he is afraid to act.
Zinhanga however said that he never received such reports although the UN report confirms in its report that Zaka is one of the districts where politicisation of food is rampant.

“I have never received any complaints from anyone. One thing that you should understand is the inputs are not enough and it could be those who didn’t get who are raising complaints.
“As for people who wear regalia during distribution it’s true because people are poor and ndidzo nhumbi dzavo idzodzo, they cannot wear any regalia because havana hembe dzomumusha, for more information you can talk to Dhliwayo the acting DDC,” said Zinhanga.

At the last distribution Imbayago said an 80 year old grandpa (name withheld for fear of victimisation) believed to be an MDC sympathiser had his name struck off despite that the village head had approved it.

The elderly man reported the case to Legal Resources Foundation who undertook to represent him in court. When Social Welfare officers heard about it they persuaded him to withdraw the case. They also advised him to send his grandson to collect his share on his behalf so that the Zanu PF local leaders would not know that he received food.
Social welfare representative in Zaka, Mausha could not be reached for comment.  Masvingo Mirror


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