Chiefs deny politicising food aid


ZIMBABWE Chiefs Council president Chief Fortune Charumbira has denied having a hand in the distribution of food aid saying traditional leaders were not politicising any food distribution.


Speaking at an event where Japanese ambassador to Zimbabwe Yonezo Fukuda handed over some food at Sipambi business centre in Masvingo through the World Food Programme (WFP), Charumbira — who together with other chiefs have been accused of denying aid to political opponents — said such talk was mere cheap politicking.

“I want to say it out loud and clear today that we are not the ones who decide who gets the food aid.

“It is the NGO (non-governmental organisation) representatives who are here, not traditional leaders. We heard of reports of that nature, but that is false,” he said.

“I know not all of you will get aid, but the decision was made by the local NGO representatives who chose the most vulnerable families. When more of the aid comes, you will all be covered.

“So do not think that I am the one to blame for not benefiting now.”

Charumbira appealed for more food aid saying donors should not be discouraged by cheap political talk.

Provincial Affairs minister Kudakwashe Bhasikiti revealed at the same function that close to 300 000 people in Masvingo are in need of food aid.