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,” said Sithole.
Other sources said the issue had been reported to former Lupane DCC Zachariah Jusah who was later transferred to Insiza district.
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 Ernest Mpofu.