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    Monday, 2 December 2019

    Slow genocide for MDC members

    •  Thousands of MDC supporters face starvation
    •  CCJP has harrowing reports


    MASVINGO – Thousands of MDC Alliance supporters including the elderly people, the sick, orphans, the disabled and other vulnerable groups are facing serious prospects of starvation in Masvingo Province as Zanu PF is denying them food in a well orchestrated scheme meant to batter them into submission.
    Observers who spoke to The Mirror said more worrying are people with chronic illnesses who will quickly succumb to their conditions and die.
    Zanu PF structures have completely taken over social welfare food distribution in the majority of wards in the province and the same applies to the distribution of seed under the Presidential inputs scheme.
    This is happening as UN Special Rapporteur, Hilal Elver, who is leading a fact-finding mission on food rights was in Masvingo last week to establish facts about politicisation of food in Zimbabwe.
    Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo told The Mirror in a telephone interview that it was not party policy to deny people food aid. He asked The Mirror to get a comment from Lovemore Matuke who is the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare and is therefore responsible for welfare.
    Efforts to get a comment from Matuke were unsuccessful as his mobile number was not being picked and messages sent to him were not responded to until the time of going to print.
    Ward 27 councillor, Jefrey Tangemhare who is the only MDC councillor elected to Gutu RDC in the 2018 elections said he has since been relieved of all food distribution responsibilities in his area and the process now happens through party structures.
    On November 11, all MDC Alliance members were chased away from Mazare Business Centre in Ward 27 Gutu and 600 bags of 10kg maize seed and fertiliser were distributed amid party sloganeering and threats to MDC members. The inputs were distributed exclusively to Zanu PF members and many families went with more than double their allocation.
    On Saturday November 23, many vulnerable MDC members were scrapped from the list of maize beneficiaries and replaced with Zanu PF youth. Some 760 x 50kg of maize were distributed and many Zanu PF families again went with more than two bags each.
    Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) co-ordinator for Masvingo confirmed that his office was present during that distribution but declined to comment further.
    “We were there at Mazare, but I am not the one to comment to you. Reports have been sent to the relevant authorities and that is where you can get your comment,” said the co-ordinator Simon Parwaringira.
    CCJP national co-ordinator Paul Muchena referred questions back to Parwaringira saying he is the one with the reports.
    “We have people who are really vulnerable; the elderly, widows, the sick and orphans. Most of these have totally run out of food because of the drought and now they are being left to starve to death by their own Government,” said Tangemhare.
    A 69 year old widow from Guni Village in ward 27 who declined to be named  broke down when she narrated her story to The Mirror. She said she had stopped taking her Diabetes tablets in August because she has no money to buy them and now she is being denied food on allegations that she voted the MDC.
    Food in Ward 27 is being distributed by Anna Dube who represents Zanu PF women’s league and the party’s political commissar, Newman Marevesa. Both are said to have told villagers that the welfare food aid belongs to President Mnangagwa and it was therefore for Zanu PF supporters only.
    Marevesa told The Mirror that  he was not responsible for distributing food aid but those who had their names written for aid received it from their village heads. He added that he is not aware that any MDC members were denied food aid.
    Efforts to get a comment from Dube were futile.
    Two senior Zanu PF MPs in Masvingo, Yeukai Simbanegavi of Gutu North and Farai Musikavanhu of Chiredzi West have already come out clean on Zanu PF’s position on welfare handouts telling their electorate that MDC members are not eligible for Government support.
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