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Tsvangirai: MDC-T Youth Should Block Food Politicization

Morgan Tsvangirai says the food crisis is worsening in Zimbabwe.

Morgan Tsvangirai says the food crisis is worsening in Zimbabwe.

Movement for Democratic Change founding president Morgan Tsvangirai claims that United Nations secretary general Ban Ki Moon has promised to help in alleviating hunger that is crippling Zimbabwe after he wrote him a letter last week seeking his intervention on the current food crisis and politicization of state and donor aid.

Addressing hundreds of people at Man’a Growth Point in Gutu at the weekend, the former prime minister said he was happy that Ban Ki Moon had responded positively to his request for UN intervention on the country’s food crisis.

He could not say how the United Nations chief would help in alleviating hunger in the country as UN agencies are already in Zimbabwe where they have appealed for millions of dollars in donor funding to tackle crippling food shortages.

“Coming to the issue of hunger it’s a reality and as opposition I wrote a letter last week to Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the UN secretary general telling him that don’t be fooled by Mugabe who misleads the world that everything is okay in here. I told him there is hunger and starvation caused by El Nino. Ki Moon replied me and assured us that the UN will assist the country.”

Tsvangirai also expressed concern over the increased politicization of food aid in most parts of the country claiming that his supporters are being denied free drought relief aid by ruling party supporters, including headmen and chiefs.

He urged villagers, especially MDC-T youth, to stop such activities. “Now when the food has been availed, they start to say they want Zanu PF supporters only, as if they are the only ones with stomachs. Who does not need food, but when we all need it we must share it equally and in a fair manner.

"When they try to side-line you, refuse and grab the food and see if they will arrest all us for demanding food, we want the world to know that people in Zimbabwe were arrested for demanding their food. I urge you youth to defend the people and stop this. You should make sure that the food is distributed fairly and Mugabe should know that the food does not belong to Zanu PF but to government.”

Some Zanu PF activists in the region, including the party’s provincial commissar Jeepy Jaboon, declined to comment on allegations that their party is blocking other people from accessing drought relief aid.

More than 4 million Zimbabweans need immediate food aid following a disastrous crop season fueled by the negative effects of the El Nino weather phenomenon. At least 50 million people in southern Africa are facing hunger due to the El Nino-induced drought.

The El Nino weather phenomenon is a natural, periodic warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean that can last a year or two. It causes drought, excessive heat, floods and related weather conditions.