Zimbabwe

Policy Brief: Chastising Use of Food As A Political Weapon: Advocacy For The Equal Distribution Of Relief Aid On The Road To 2018

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Executive Summary

The purpose of this brief is to advocate for the adoption of a non-discriminatory policy to guard against the unfair distribution of relief aid as the country braces for the 2018 elections.
This brief outlines the problem and the policy options available for purposes of ensuring nondiscrimination in the distribution of relief aid. Relief aid in the context of Zimbabwe is characterised through various forms, ranging from food handouts, cash transfers, food vouchers and agricultural inputs all given to communities. The Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) has noted with concern that in the wake of the 2016 farming season and the spiral of by-elections since 2015, agricultural inputs and food aid have been distributed to many communities on partisan basis creating a sad situation between responding to need and vote buying. Citizens have been deprived of relief aid on the basis of political preferences. Section 56 of the Constitution provides for equal and non-discriminatory opportunities in political, social, cultural and social spheres. The distribution of relief aid has continuously been on a partisan basis. The problem of partisan distribution of relief aid demands adherence to the provisions of the Constitution and international law statutes on freedoms to equality and non-discrimination and the safeguarding of the right to food. It is recommended that the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ensure that non-discriminatory policies are put in place, enforced and fulfilled in the distribution of relief aid. The Ministry should ensure that all intended beneficiaries of food aid equally receive their quota regardless of political affiliation.