Priest confronts Gutu North MP over food aid


GUTU – Roman Catholic Priest and lawyer, Father Edward Ndete has confronted Gutu North MP Yeukai Simbanegavi over the weaponisation of food aid in the constituency which he says has reached alarming levels.

Addressing mourners gathered at a memorial service at Mashingaidze Farm in Nyazvidzi on October 3, 2020, Father Ndete said he was shocked at the level of politicisation of food aid in the constituency and the abuse of human rights.

He said food is being distributed along political lines and there was a lot of bullying and harassment of people. He also complained against the distribution of aid at night which would result in women and girls being abused while a lot of the aid is stolen by those in charge of the process.

Father Ndete said he was baffled when he heard that the MP recently took back maize brought to Mandeya Business Centre for distribution when thousands of people were starving in Ward 4.

He said he has since sent a Police Officer involved in the food distribution to tell the MP of his displeasure over the goings-on in the social welfare activities.

“I hear some maize brought to Mandeya Business Center for distribution was loaded back onto the truck as hungry farmers helplessly watched. My question is where did the MP take those bags of maize to? This is tax payers’ money. The tax is paid by the same people who are being refused food,” said Father Ndete.

Asked for a comment Father Ndete said people were ignorant about their rights and CCJP would soon carry out awareness campaigns in the area. He said there was a lot of abuse and he would soon see the MP.

Father Ndete who was once the Church’s representative in the Parliamentary Liaison Office is now based in Gutu North.

On Thursday, Simbanegavi ordered everyone including opposition party supporters gathered at Mandeya to do Zanu PF slogans for them to get 5kg of mealie meal. She also threatened violence against anyone who is not Zanu-PF in the area.

“Tichagura miswe yevanhu veMDC vari muno mu Constituency (we are going to cut off tails of MDC supporters in Gutu North),” said Simbanegavi.

Cowered men and women, afraid of being refused food listened quietly as Simbanegavi made her threats.

A number of MDC supporters including Philip Mahachi, Jemitias Masuka, and Lydia Mandudzi flatly refused to do the slogans and opted to go home empty- handed. She later called them back to get their allocations.

However, Simbanegavi went on to order everyone who comes for food aid in future to put on party regalia or there would be nothing for them.

People turned in their hundreds for maize seed yesterday and almost all of them were in party regalia, a lot of it borrowed from others. MDC Alliance supporters who refused to do slogans were peculiar by their absence.

Mahachi and Mandudzi said they could not stand the humiliation by the MP hence they did not turn up.

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