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Accusations over alleged political distribution of food | Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum

Accusations over alleged political distribution of food

Violence in Insiza Constituency reportedly continued unabated in the post election period, as ZANU PF supporters and youth militia intensified their efforts to rid the area of MDC supporters. In what appears to have been a retributive exercise, ZANU PF militia in the constituency are purportedly harassing and forcing opposition supporters to denounce the MDC and join/ rejoin the ZANU PF. Political intimidation, political discrimination and death threats, are alleged to be among the weapons the ruling party supporters have taken up in a bid to punish the would be supporters of the opposition party.

There is increasing evidence that ZANU PF is manipulating the distribution of food along political lines in an effort to garner and retain political support. Reports recorded by the Human Rights Forum in September and October showed that food distribution had been politically manipulated to coerce votes from the electorate during the Rural District Council Elections and Insiza by- election respectively. In the month of October, the Human Rights Forum has documented incidents that suggest that ZANU PF, with apparent Government acquiescence, is controlling access to food aid, denying those perceived to be MDC supporters access. This is happening in the absence of a pending election.

There are ongoing reports that soldiers are harassing villagers in some parts of the country. MDC National Spokesman, Paul Themba Nyathi, claims that his party has received numerous complaints from MDC supporters in Binga that off-duty soldiers are harassing and assaulting the villagers for supporting the opposition MDC. Jelous Sansole was one of the victims. Torture cases at the hands of the police and soldiers have slightly increased from 3.8% of all politically motivated violations recorded in the month of October, to 5.1% in November.

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