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Residents fret over ‘unfair’ distribution of food aid

Some residents from ward 6 have expressed unhappiness over the unfair distribution of government food aid which they say is done on politically partisan basis.

They said Zanu PF has hijacked the program politicising it so that its supporters and members are given preferential treatment.

State food relief aid is meant to benefit the destitute regardless of political affiliation, gender or race.

However residents of Ward 6 say the distribution of the food aid that comes in form of maize or rice and is monitored by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare alienates residents perceived to be supporters of opposition parties.

In an interview with this reporter, Mr Mhlophe, a resident from Ward Six said in the recent phase of food distribution most people were not given rice because they were said to be MDC supporters.

“Recently there was rice that was given to community members but most of us did not get it because we were said to be affiliated to MDC. Most residents were not even aware of the development because there was someone who was going around alerting only those believed to be supporters of the ruling party,” said Mhlophe.

He added that rumour going around is that Ward Six Member of Parliament, Honorable Raj Modi is involved in the scheme.

“People say its Modi who said those who are not from the ruling party should not benefit from the program but I would like to remind Modi that it’s not only Zanu PF supporters who voted him into office,” said Mhlophe, adding that:

“Almost everyone voted for him regardless of their affiliations. We voted for him because of his good deeds and promises during his campaign.”

Hon Modi was not reachable for comment at the time before publishing.

Another resident, Mr William Zulu of Newton West who doubles as the Secretary for Newton West Resident Association and Chairman of Ward six Development Committee  described the program as ‘chaotic’, calling for a return to the old order of food distribution.

“The food programme is no longer managed by the Residents Associations like before. Long back community leaders compiled the lists for deserving recipients.  This list was forwarded to Social Welfare who then followed the list. There was order and no complaints then,” said Zulu.

He added that things changed when the Provincial Minister banned the procedure and began using the Ministry criteria.

Zulu said: “The ministry interviews the recipients asking questions like do you have a car or do you have children overseas. If the answers are affirmative what happens. The maize supplied is insufficient where 600 applicants must share 274 bags for instance.”

He said the distribution process should be done by community leaders who know the people from a personal level.

Complaints of politically partisan distribution of food and other state aid by the government in power are not alien.

During the Cyclone Idai relief programme, opposition political parties, activists and human rights bodies accused government of unfair distribution of state aid in the affected areas, an allegation which government refuted totally.

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