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HomeNewsAdvocacy Group Condemns Zanu PF Spokesperson Mutsvangwa’s Statements

Advocacy Group Condemns Zanu PF Spokesperson Mutsvangwa’s Statements

Local peace advocacy group Heal Zimbabwe Trust has voiced deep concern over statements made by Zanu PF national spokesperson Christopher Mutsvangwa regarding the distribution of food aid amid the country’s battle with food insecurity.

Mutsvangwa’s remarks, made during a press conference in Harare yesterday, have raised red flags for Heal Zimbabwe Trust, who fear that partisan distribution could exacerbate an already dire situation.

In a statement, the advocacy group raised alarm over declarations that the ruling party would be will take charge of the distribution of food aid in the country.

“Heal Zimbabwe notes with concern utterances made by Zanu PF Spokesperson Mr. Christopher Mutsvangwa stating that the ruling party will take charge of the distribution of food aid as the country battles food insecurity. Mr. Mutsvangwa made the remarks during a press conference in Harare.

“Over the years, Heal Zimbabwe has recorded cases of partisan food distribution where aid has been weaponized against members of opposition political parties. As part of seeking recourse over such cases, Heal Zimbabwe has facilitated for citizens to make formal reports to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), a commission charged with promoting human rights awareness and promotion,” read the statement

The group emphasizes that the politicization of government aid has marginalized and coerced vulnerable members of society, particularly those supporting opposition political parties.

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“The political weaponisation of government aid has led to the marginalisation and coercion of vulnerable members of our society particularly those supporting opposition political parties. The statement by Mr Mutsvangwa not only undermines the democratic fabric of our country but lays bare the conflation of the state and the ruling party which has violated the fundamental rights of individuals and communities to receive aid without discrimination,” said the advocacy group

Citing international standards, including the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (UNCESR)’s General Comment 12, Heal Zimbabwe Trust asserts that discriminating in food aid distribution on political or any other grounds violates fundamental rights.

The organization calls upon the government to ensure that aid distribution is carried out solely through the Department of Social Welfare in collaboration with local traditional and elected leadership, while also designing mechanisms to prevent abuse and politicization of aid.

With an estimated 3.5 million Zimbabweans acutely food insecure and in urgent need of assistance, Heal Zimbabwe Trust urges the government to establish or strengthen mechanisms to safeguard against manipulation and abuse of aid.

The advocacy group implored the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to actively combat corruption and ensure transparency in aid distribution.

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In a broader call to action, Heal Zimbabwe Trust implores civil society organizations and developmental partners to vigilantly monitor and hold all stakeholders accountable in efforts to alleviate poverty and food insecurity, especially in the face of the devastating effects of the El Nino-induced drought.

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