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Zanu-PF wary of urban food aid

by Staff reporter
19 Aug 2019 at 07:47hrs | Views
THE Zanu-PF leadership in Marondera is reportedly having sleepless nights following the recent introduction of food distribution programme in urban areas, with the ruling party fearing that they will lose the few supporters in the town that is currently under opposition MDC party.

Government recently announced that food aid would be distributed across the country, including in urban areas, with statistics showing that close to six million Zimbabweans are food insecure.

The process will see councillors being involved in the distribution of food, a move that is worrying Zanu-PF, which fears losing the little urban support it has maintained since 2000.

A top party official told NewsDay yesterday that the involvement of councillors in the process would result in Zanu-PF losing its supporters to the opposition, giving credence that the ruling party has been using food as bait.

"Hunger is not good and the looming food distribution exercise in urban areas, if not carefully handled, will result in us losing our urban support base. The involvement of councillors will see them getting popular, at the same time distributing food along partisan lines, hence luring our own people to their tent," said the official, who preferred anonymity.

Zanu-PF has been accused of using food as a tool to hold on to its support base in the rural areas, with opposition party members being denied access to the handouts.

Marondera deputy mayor Bornface Tagwireyi yesterday said councillors would not be directly involved in food distribution, but would play an oversight role.

"The councillors will not be directly involved in the distribution of food, but will just play an oversight role. Last week, we were told that government will set its own team or appoint organisations that will be directly distributing food in the wards, with councillors just monitoring. This is the latest position that is there and we are looking forward to the programme given the current economic challenges and massive food shortages," he said.

Zimbabwe is currently facing massive food shortages, especially maize, following successive El Nino-induced droughts, natural disasters and hyper-inflation.

The World Food Programme has been at the forefront distributing maize and other cereals in drought-hit areas like Mutoko and rural Masvingo, among other areas, in a bid to improve nutrition at household level.

Source - newsday