By Stephen Jensen
At a time of comfort and messages of hope trickling in to sympathize with the people of Zimbabwe after they were ravaged by Cyclone Idai, no one had anticipated that the ruling Zanu PF party would be so determined to inflict secondary injury on the survivors.
Trauma is still fresh in the Manicaland Province after Cyclone Idai decimated their homes and livestock leaving at least more than 250 people dead with hundreds unaccounted for.
Some are still speechless as the majority are yet to learn the fate of their loved ones with searches ongoing on the ground.
The Zanu PF led government after being accused of locking the ban door after the horse had bolted pulled a shocker recently when they denied victims food aid because of their suspected affiliations to the opposition Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) party.
It is worth noting at this stage to remind the world that Manicaland Province in the eastern highlands of the country including the cyclone affected areas of Chimanimani and Chipinge is the only rural province in Zimbabwe that voted opposition leader Nelson Chamisa in overwhelming numbers.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa lost in this province in the 2018 general elections and food aid distribution is understood as a political punishment as alluded to by human rights activists.
Victims of the cyclone have since raised the red flag during the weekend over the partisan distribution of food aid which Zanu PF has hijacked from donations that poured in.
Zanu PF has been for years accused of using food as a political weapon particularly in rural areas.
Reports from reliable sources indicate that, clad in party regalia, Zanu PF youths have taken over food distribution in Chimanimani a move that has turned to be a political move subjecting cyclone victims to secondary injury.
Scores of victims in Chimanimani areas such as Ngangu, Kopa among other places are crying foul over the distribution of food with one woman caught on video by of one local press saying ‘they told me that you are MDC, so you will not get food.’
In the wake of this, MDC party spokesperson Jacob Mafume described the ruling party’s food aid distribution along party lines as satanic, ironically, a couple of days ago President Mnangagwa described Chamisa as satan.
“One cannot believe the evil that resides in Zanu PF people. I mean, how evil has one to be that people are donating aid from the goodness of their hearts from monies that they could have used elsewhere. The only thing that Zanu PF is thinking is running ahead of that food aid.
“We never saw anyone collecting any food aid at Zanu PF Headquarters. We never saw any Zanu PF structures being mobilized to collect food aid but at the distribution point is where you find thousands and thousands of Zanu PF individuals with their cars… We condemn this. It is abominable. It is satanic. It is just pure, pure evil.
The MDC said it has mobilized its party structures to be more vigilant on the ground to make sure that all cyclone victims get the aid Zimbabweans in their diversity extended while preparing to let the story reach out to the international community.
Mufume reminded the ruling party Zanu PF that a disaster knows no political party and that there is no one who invited it pleading with all aid agencies and organizations to disrespect party lines when distributing aid to the cyclone victims.
President Mnangagwa who has lately been accused of detaching himself from the plight people face in his country with activists describing him as an air bird after taking a flight three times within a week.
“This is a gross dereliction of duty. The President is flying everywhere any meeting that has been called on the African continent or anywhere he makes sure that he goes. It is an infertile desire to want to travel. These trips did not help anyone,
“They are chattering expensive planes from Dubai, to fly to Bulawayo, to fly to South Africa and this is like a beggar who comes to beg on a street corner with a Mercedes Benz and ask pedestrians for money. He cannot show luxury and then beg for the nation,” Mafume said. Nehanda Radio