With elections due to take place in 2018, President Mugabe must be aching to end the continuous dissent going on in Zimbabwe.
With the help of social media and playing on the dissatisfaction of the people with their government, the opposition in Zimbabwe has become a hydra-headed, unrelenting phenomenon.
How far will Mugabe go to curb this phenomenon? Well, Zimbabwe’s ruling party is being accused of deliberately withholding food aid from opposition supporters in areas facing starvation because of drought.
The accusation that the ruling party is withholding food aid is a rather gruesome one considering Zimbabwe is going through a really severe drought.
The drought is so severe that the President had been forced to declare that the country was in a state of disaster earlier in the year. At the time, the government had estimated that over four million people would need food aid by January, the reports that have emanated from the country since then seem to put paid to that statistic.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has said that opponents of President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party had been informed that they would never receive any food aid. ZHRC’s chairman Elasto Mugwadi told media in the capital, Harare, detailing the findings of the investigation on Zanu-PF withholding food aid;
“Ruling party members were the major perpetrators in violations linked to distribution of food”
He went on to say that a huge numbers of people had been affected by the alleged tactic, without giving exact figures. ZHRC says that its findings came from extensive investigations carried out across the country. The accusations on the politicization of food aid in rural areas by top government officials are not coming out for the first time.
This time, however, it will not be so easy for the President to deny the accusations off-hand. ZHRC’s right to carry out investigations of this nature are enshrined in the constitution and they are also given legal mandate to make recommendations to the parliament.
The political implications of the findings are evident; it would throw a light on the extreme lengths the ruling party is willing to go to get the upper hand in next years election and that will definitely not enamor them to the people.