THE Zanu PF government has taken its begging bowl to the international community seeking $20 million to help more than 20 000 people — mainly in Masvingo and Matabeleland North — affected by floods.
A number of families are living in the open after they were displaced by floods on the basin of the Tokwe-Mukosi Dam, which is under construction.
Torrential rains have been forecast to continue in the flood-hit areas and the number of those in need of emergency assistance could escalate.
The government in its appeal directed through the United Nations says “it needs funds to evacuate and relocate at-risk communities as well as (for) the provision of food, shelter, safe water and other basic needs.”
Funds are also needed to buy blankets and tents and to build clinics and schools. There is uncertainty around Tokwe-Mukosi Dam where there have been fears that the dam wall could collapse.
However, that is beside the point.
There is nothing wrong with the appeal by the government, but we need to point out that Zanu PF should not practice double standards.
As Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and other ministers launched the appeal on Tuesday, a group of rowdy Zanu PF supporters were disrupting a food distribution programme led by the World Food Programme and the United State ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton in Ntabazinduna.
The demonstration angered villagers who had been waiting for food assistance and it almost degenerated into an ugly fight.
Zanu PF might have its beef against the United States for the sanctions imposed against its leaders, but the party should not sink so low as to resort to disrupting aid agencies when they try to reach out to starving masses.
Aid agencies have been feeding the majority of the country’s population for some years and being confrontational against them is no way of saying thank you.
There are many civilised ways of protesting against the US sanctions other than renting crowds to trail American representatives and donor agencies when they try to extend support to communities that are in need.
Those who organised the Ntabazinduna demonstrations certainly don’t sleep on empty stomachs.
We have to learn not to bite the hand that feeds us.