‘Zanu PF in partisan food distribution’

By Bernard Chiketo

ZANU PF officials in Chimanimani East are denying agricultural inputs to everyone they suspect to have voted against their party in the just-ended harmonised elections.

Early distribution of farming inputs helps farmers prepare in advance
Early distribution of farming inputs helps farmers prepare in advance

The practice has been so brazen such that some people in Muchadziya and Ngangu had inputs confiscated after being issued as the political environment continued to degenerate into chaos after a peaceful campaign and voting period.

Elderly women sobbed while a Zanu PF election agent exchanged blows with a known MDC supporter at a business centre in Muchadziya last Saturday.

Those who had been given inputs in Ngangu village had them withdrawn as ruling party officials sought to punish everyone they perceived to have voted against their party.

Zanu PF Manicaland chairperson Mike Madiro said he had not heard of any such complaints but said this was not in line with his party’s position.

“I’ve not heard any such issue, so it is difficult for me to comment but that is certainly not… (in line with) our party policy.

“The president has reiterated that no one is going to starve because their political opinion differs from ours.

“We want everyone to be confident with our party’s leadership and we hope that those reports are not true,” Madiro told Eastern News yesterday.

Councillors’ role in agricultural inputs distribution has been cited as a weakness that subjects the process to politicisation, critics say.

What particularly miffs locals is that there appears to be nothing but greed behind it.

“Although the councillor for Muchadziya won, he is either just being plain greedy or pathologically vindictive to even deny people who voted for him only because the MDC had a few hundreds. He lacks appreciation of an election as a democratic process,” Batsirai Murenje, a losing MDC candidate, said.

Opposition activists are, however, vowing to target Zanu PF officials and demand their shares of the inputs at their homes if government fails to make a quick redress.

“We are going to visit these goons in their homes and demand our share if government does not put an end to this madness.

“These inputs are paid for by all of us as taxpayers and we will not allow such abuse of State resources like this,” an MDC official said.

He said Zanu PF was behaving like sour winners and their conduct was akin to criminalising opposition politics.

Meanwhile, political tension continues to build across the countryside with an MDC election agent’s home being torched in Nyanyadzi this week.

Daniel Hanyana of Hot Springs in Chimanimani West had his hut burnt down allegedly by a well-known Zanu PF supporter in a matter that has since been reported to the police.

Although efforts to get a comment from Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Tavhiringwa Kakova were not successful, the case was reported at Nyanyadzi Police Station under RRB number 309735. Dailynews