Zimrights condemns hijacking of Covid-19 aid by Zanu PF

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By Makanaka Masenyama

THE Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) has urged unbiased distribution of food and other material donated to the country as part of a concert effort to fighting the spread of coronavirus.

In a statement, the rights watchdog said the suffering of any citizens was a mark of government failure in any given situation.

“In any society, it is fatal to disregard the voice of the communities, for they are the ones whose lives reflect the true state of any government policy or declaration,” Zimrights said.

“National leadership must adopt a non-partisan approach to fighting COVID-19.

“This involves ensuring that the platforms established for fighting COVID-19 are inclusive of all political actors as well as non-state actors against COVID 19.”

This comes after government recently announced that it was going to avail a monthly disbursement of ZWL$200 million to a million vulnerable households in the country.

Government further announced a World Bank funded package to assist informal traders whose work has been affected by the ongoing national lockdown against the spread of the disease.

Complaints however have emerged from the country’s provinces linking the ruling Zanu PF party to acts of partisan distribution of aid among citizens.

A Zimrights member based in Kadoma spoke through an audio report this week some known Zanu PF district officials were discriminating against those who did not support the party.

“They are saying ‘we are only writing names of Zanu PF members only’ for them to be assisted with the humanitarian aid to informal traders.

“My wife heard that…we are not to be included because we are not Zanu PF supporters.

“So, we are not sure whether it’s (aid) now a Zanu PF thing because everyone is affected with the lockdown. We know the names of these women and they are Zanu PF.

“We are all hungry and everyone is staying in their homes and schools will be opened soon. We shall need school fees and to feed our families. So, food aid must be given to everyone because everyone is affected.”

This comes when the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been reporting some thousands more Zimbabweans have slipped into the severely-hungry category and urgent need for assistance was required.

In previous hunger years, mainly the rural population would require food aid, but lately, millions of urban people are in need of food aid.