Commissions Watch 15th Nov 2018 [ZHRC Reports: Politically Partisan Distribution of State Aid during
Elections]

COMMISSIONS WATCH
15th November 2018
ZHRC Reports on Politically Partisan Distribution of State Aid During
Elections
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has released a series
of reports about politically partisan distribution of food and other State aid
before and after polling in the 30th July election. The ZHRC received
numerous complaints over the manner in which food aid and agricultural
inputs from the State were being distributed, and conducted investigations
into the veracity of the claims. In investigating the claims the ZHRC sought
to interview both the complainants and those accused of politically partisan
distribution of State aid during elections.
The reports describe the ZHRC’s investigation of complaints from districts
listed below. Each report records the findings arrived at by the ZHRC after
the investigations, and its recommendations for remedial action by various
State authorities and political parties.
The districts concerned were: Gokwe, Chirumhanzu [both in Midlands
Province] and Buhera and Chimanimani [both in Manicaland Province].
Each district was the subject of a separate report.
Soft copies of the complete reports are available on the ZHRC website
www.zhrc.org.zw; but please note that ZHRC have been having problems
with the website.
The reports are also available on the Veritas website using the following
links: Gokwe [link]; Chirumanzu [link]; Buhera [link]; Chimanimani [link].
Findings
The reports find most of the complaints to have been justified. They
uncover a systematic use of food aid and agricultural inputs from the State
as a tool to persuade the recipients to support ZANU PF, the ruling party;
and/or to punish persons, otherwise entitled to aid and inputs, for being or
perceived to be, or to be related to, supporters of opposition parties.
Methods varied, but a common one was for a ZANU PF party official to
take over the distribution of aid and inputs from officials, resulting in ZANU
PF supporters getting preferential treatment and others either no aid at all
or less than ZANU PF supporters.
The reports unearth a structure involving District Committees, Ward
Councillors, local ZANU PF chairpersons and traditional leaders [mainly
headmen] who together were involved in the distribution of food aid and
often demanded or expected loyalty to the incumbent party. The reports
reveal a neglect of duty on the part of these community leaders.

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