Mujuru supporters denied food aid, report

THE nasty fall-out between Zanu PF camps fighting for control of the beleaguered party has seen party activists linked to ousted Vice President Joice Mujuru joining opposition supporters in being systematically denied food hand-outs by district and village heads, a
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A Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) report highlighting cases of politically motivated violations for December 2014 shows a trend in which party activists opposed to the embattled politician were beginning to deny her perceived supporters food and agro-inputs doled out through the Presidential Input Scheme.

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Such incidences were reported in Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Manicaland, Masvingo and drought prone Matebeleland South.

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“Cases of discrimination occurred at Rapid Farm in Marondera West where Edison Sithole and other four Zanu PF youths wanted to prevent two other Zanu PF members perceived to belong to the Mujuru faction from accessing inputs,” says the ZPP.

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The incident, it was said, led to heated exchanges by Grain Marketing Board (GMB) staff who refused to take instructions from Zanu PF youths trying to deny their rivals the inputs.

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Matebeleland South’s Insiza and Gwanda North districts also experienced similar cases in which intended beneficiaries linked to Mujuru and the opposition were blocked from accessing any food and farming inputs.

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The ZPP continued: “On 10 December 2014, some Zanu PF supporters perceived to belong to the Mutasa faction were denied access to maize seed and fertilizer from the Presidential Input Scheme at Chaneka village in Headlands by village head Chaneka.

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“The area is believed to be controlled by Zanu PF officials Kudzanai Chipanga and Minister Patrick Chinamasa who are both perceived to belong to the Mnangagwa faction.”

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Despite the recent inclusion of Zanu PF supporters among those routinely denied food assistance, the ZPP reports that members of the opposition remain the most affected.

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Meanwhile, most of the violations recorded by the rights based group during the period were part of the festering fights among Zanu PF forces battling to control the liberation movement.

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Reads the ZPP report: “In the month of December 170 violations were recorded and these emanated from intra and inter party fights and topping the list were harassment and discrimination cases.

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“Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West and Manicaland provinces recorded cases of threats of displacement also witnessed threats of displacements by militant Zanu PF activists on their rivals.”

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The group added: “Out of a recorded 260 perpetrators, 229 were male while 27 are females.

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“By virtue of the nature of conflicts, there was a marked increase of Zanu PF party activists who were victims of violations; 88 cases involving Zanu PF victims were recorded in the month of December 2014 compared to 35 cases recorded in December 2013.

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“Zanu PF party members still remain the main perpetrators of violence with a record 225 perpetrators compared to 11 from MDC-T party.

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“The number of victims of political violence remain high among males (207) compared to females (93) and this could be attributed to the fact that men constitute the majority of political actors.

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“The majority of the victims (69%) have dependents that may have been affected by the violence perpetrated on their parents.”

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The ZPP is a local rights based group which draws its membership from churches and NGOs biased towards human rights and peace-building efforts.

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Established in 2000, the group has been monitoring and documenting incidents of human rights violations and politically motivated breaches of the peace.