Members of the ruling party, Zanu PF have been fingered as the main culprits of biased and partisan food distribution.
This was revealed by Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, (ZHRC) after a research which followed a flood of complaints by opposition members who said they were being discriminated from national food aid projects meant to alleviate hunger and poverty in the country.
Presenting the findings of the report ZHRC Chairperson, Commissioner Elasto Hilarious Mugwadi, said there is overwhelming evidence that members of the ruling party were engaging in biased food distribution.
“In all five districts covered by the investigations, including the case of Bikita East councillors, who are all members of the ruling party were alleged to be biased in favour of members of their own party and against members of the opposition whom told openly that those affiliated to the opposition would never get food aid,” he said.
The investigations which were carried in constituencies that include Bikita East, Buhera North, Mazowe Central and Muzarabani North and South as well as Zvimba revealed that persons affiliated to the opposition parties were being excluded from food for work programs.
“The long and short of the findings or outcomes of the investigations was that there was unbridled maladministration on the part of some public officials who were allegedly performing their duties partially and with bias against persons of particular political affiliation in contravention of the provisions of the Public Service Regulations SI 1/2000 which requires public officials to be apolitical and discharge their duties impartially and objectively,” said Commissioner Mugwadi.
“… in both Bikita East and Mazowe Central constituencies, youths from the ruling party who are not even part of the distribution committees are involved in the distribution of food aid and agricultural inputs.
“… in the two districts older persons who are not politically active but have family members who are affiliated to the opposition parties are also being denied food aid,” said the ZHRC boss.
The study revealed that although respondents refuted allegations, the commission established that there was massive biased in the distribution of food.
“Although the alleged perpetrators denied the allegations, the commission on the basis of evidence gathered, came to the conclusion that there was indeed discrimination and exclusion of certain citizens in the distribution of food aid.
“These findings were replicated in the outcomes in the similar investigations carried out in Zvimba South district, the ruling party members were the major perpetrators in violations linked to distribution of food and other forms of aid,” he said.
Going forward the commission reiterated President Mugabe’s call for fair distribution of food.
“As already clearly enunciated by HE food aid should not be distributed on partisan lines,” said Commissioner Mugwadi.