Hwange East villagers have approached the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) following reports that Zanu-PF shadow MP Siphiwe Mafuwa is monopolising the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) grain loan scheme for the benefit of members of her party.
The villagers also accuse Mafuwa of co-opting Zanu-PF supporters into committees which distribute maize that is meant to support households facing starvation.
Melusi Zhou, a villager from ward 14 told Radio Dialogue the Zanu-PF member has turned the food aid initiative into a campaign tool.
He said: “All those who are known to be members of opposition parties are being denied aid. These Zanu-PF people have literally taken over the running of GMB and are distributing maize to their members.”
Zhou further accused the distributing committee members of stealing maize for the purposes of engaging in barter trading for cattle and goats.
JOMIC provincial co-chairperson for Matabeleland North Jealous Sansole confirmed receiving the report but indicated that the committee is making investigations before making recommendations to government.
“The cases of politicisation of food aid initiatives are common here in Matabeleland North and are being perpetrated by some political figures who lost in the previous elections,” he said. “Although as a committee we have tried to solve some of these cases, the problem is far from over.”
Ward 14 councillor also shared similar views and said Zanu-PF members in the district have hijacked the duties of the local authority as they seek to achieve political mileage.
“The mandate of food distribution in rural communities is supervised by local leaders but we are surprised to see some individuals who are now personalising the scheme thereby politicising it,” she said.