Dozens of elderly people in Ward
10 of Kusile Rural District Council (RDC) have for several years been denied government
food aid on grounds of their perceived support for the opposition MDC Alliance,
TellZim can report.
Sources said the elderly victims have
given up hope of ever being included as beneficiaries of the food aid which is
distributed by the Department of Social Welfare.
Their councillor, Reuben Gabadela,
who is a member of the MDC Alliance, blames partisan interference by shadow
Zanu PF councillor Tryphine Khumalo (pictured) for the injustice.
He told TellZim that Khumalo
often hijacks government programmes to make sure that all opposition members and
supporters, real or perceived, are excluded.
“It has been going on for many
years and this Zanu PF shadow councillor abuses the authority which she has
given herself. She makes gross interferences in government programmes and turn
them into partisan political party affairs where perceived enemies, especially
opposition members and supporters, are excluded,” said Gabadela.
He also said the issue had been
reported several times to the relevant offices including that of the Lupane District
Development Coordinator (DDC), formerly District Administrator (DA).
He confirmed that many needy
people in his ward have been victimised on those grounds for many years and
they do not have any recourse.
Repeated attempts over two days to
get a comment from Khumalo, who was defeated in the elections for the council seat
in 2013 and again in 2018, failed as she initially did not pick up calls before
her phone became unreachable.
However, Lupane DDC Ennety
Sithole said she had not received reports of the politicisation of food aid in
that specific area, but said those that feel unfairly excluded could engage the
Department of Social Welfare.
“The list of beneficiaries is compiled
by the Department of Social Welfare which is responsible for making assessments
of deserving cases. That particular case has not reached me as yet but people
are free to take their issues to the department if they feel unfairly excluded,”
Other sources said the issue had
been reported to former Lupane DCC Zachariah Jusah who was later transferred to
The sources said among the many
over 80-year-olds that have been excluded from food aid at the behest of
Khumalo included Patrick Mpofu, Sifule Moyo, Nursy Sibanda, Sunday Nyoni and