Mugabe’s Zanu-PF ‘blocking food aid’ amid Zimbabwe drought

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Zimbabwe’s ruling party has been accused of deliberately withholding aid from opposition supporters in areas facing starvation because of drought.

The country’s human rights commission said opponents of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party had been told they would never get any food aid.

The government has not yet commented.

Mr Mugabe declared a state of disaster in February, with the government estimating that four million people would need food aid by January 2017.

“Ruling party members were the major perpetrators in violations linked to distribution of food,” Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) chairman Elasto Mugwadi told media in the capital, Harare, detailing the findings of the investigation.

Mr Mugwadi said huge numbers of people had been affected by the alleged tactic, without giving exact figures.

The government says half the rural population faces starvation.

The allegations, coming from a constitutionally established body, are especially significant given the role food distribution plays in election campaigns in the country, says BBC Zimbabwe analyst Stanley Kwenda.

Elections can be won and lost on the basis of how food aid is distributed, he adds.

Zimbabwe has endured two years of failed rains, with this year’s problems linked to the El Nino weather pattern.

Elections are due to take place in 2018.

 

Source: BBC