Zimbabwe: Partisan Distribution of Food Aid Surfaces During Lockdown

President Emmerson Mnangagwa (file photo).
15 April 2020

The Zimbabwe NGO Forums says cases of the partisan distribution of food aid are on the rise countrywide.

In its day 15 report of the 21 day lockdown, the Forum said it had received reports of ZANU-PF benefitting at the expense of opposition supporters.

The reports come at a time when most household are facing a dire food shortage situation due to the lockdown which has confined citizens in their homes and cut their food supply chains as most survive on a hand to mouth basis.

"In Sakubva, Mutare, community members reported that government food aid distribution in the area is being conducted on a partisan basis. It was reported that the government food distributions in the area are being run by ZANU PF affiliates.

"It was also relayed that on 12 April about 200 people were summoned by the ZANU PF Manicaland Youth Assembly at Sakubva Beit Hall to draw up a list of social aid food beneficiaries.

It was further reported that ZANU PF supporters were responsible for screening beneficiaries and those who were not aligned to the party were not included on the lists," reads part of the report.

This is also on the backdrop of acute mealie-meal shortages countrywide and the black market commodity is being sold at exorbitant prices beyond the reach of many.

Zimbabwe is no stranger to partisan distribution of food aid which is mainly dome to further the interests of the ruling party elites who use the aid to campaign for political gains.

The lockdown, in its 16th day, has worsened an already dilapidated economy as most people are employed in the informal trade which cannot sustain prolonged periods without functioning.

This has led to a number of people defying the government's lockdown directive but placing them in harm's way of the COVID-19.

"The increasing defiance of the COVID-19 lockdown by community members is a great concern," the Forum noted.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa over the weekend embarked on a tour of the Midlands Province to assess residents' compliance with the 21-day lockdown.

Meanwhile, all roads leading into the city center of Harare continued to be manned by members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) as well as Harare Municipal Police who are stopping motorists and checking residents' purpose of getting into the city centre.

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