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Rights based NGO, Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has confirmed wide claims that some top Zanu PF officials and other activists were distributing food aid meant for Cyclone Idai victims along partisan lines.
In its latest report on rights violations it recorded in March, ZPP listed incidents in which some Zanu PF officials were found denying food aid to their MDC rivals.
ZPP said it had “noted the continued trajectory of partisan and politicisation of food aid even during the tragic Cyclone Idai”.
“… In Ward 9 Chimanimani East at Chigwegwe Creche, the local councillor affiliated to Zanu PF and another party member denied Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) supporters relief aid as they stated that only victims loyal to Zanu PF would receive the aid,” said ZPP.
“In ward 4, Guhune on 26 March 2019, four Zanu PF members were witnessed distributing relief aid along partisan lines, denying MDC supporters aid.”
ZPP records violations of a political nature every month through its trained monitors in each one of the country’s 210 geographical constituencies.
Said the NGO, “On March 25 in ward 10 Chimanimani East, the ward councillor and some unidentified Zanu PF members denied MDC supporters cyclone relief aid. This was even after the President had urged Zimbabweans to put partisan politics aside for the sake of cyclone victims.”
Zanu PF has denied any of its activists were involved in the partisan distribution of aid sourced from individuals, organisations, corporates and government to assist an estimated 270 000 victims of the weather induced catastrophe which killed over 300 and left more missing in March.
The observations by ZPP almost tally with those made by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commissions through a report last week which said the distribution of food and other relief aid to Cyclone survivors was chaotic.
Government’s rights arm said there are different distribution lists for the same areas, causing more confusion to aid distribution processes.
“As a result,” said ZHRC, “there were different versions of distribution lists for the same location. This had the effect of opening up the process to manipulation by some local leaders including politicians, and other influential individuals, resulting in the intended beneficiaries losing out along partisan, nepotistic and other affiliation grounds.”