The ‘elections’ in Zimbabwe are next Thursday. It is becoming clear why Mugabe’s Zanu-PF government lied to the relief agencies about the need for supplemental food this year. The lack of food has placed the government in a powerful position. From: http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/&articleid=200343
As Thursday's parliamentary election approaches, the government has taken sole control of food distribution in rural areas.
These elections, observers say, will bring less of the outright brutality that scarred previous polls. Instead, according to accounts, the government party, Zanu-PF, is offering villagers a simple choice -- vote for us or starve.
In Million's village, east of Bulawayo, people pooled money to buy maize flour from the state-owned grain marketing board. Last Saturday the food arrived.
Million (62) said: "Sitting on top of the heap of maize [sacks] was the district chairman of Zanu-PF. He said that maize would be distributed to supporters of Zanu-PF only -- not to supporters of the MDC [the opposition Movement for Democratic Change]."
Each villager who reached the head of the queue was given a 50kg (110lb) sack of maize, said Million. But anyone believed to support the opposition was ordered to leave.
"It was announced that MDC supporters should go out of the queue so as not to be embarrassed," he said. "But I stayed in the queue because I was hungry."
Instead of a sack of maize Million, an MDC voter, was given back the 37 000 Zimbabwean dollars [now equivalent to only about R40] he had put down as an advance payment three months ago.
Now he survives on one proper meal a day. "In the mornings we take tea. In the afternoons, when the children come home from school, we take tea. In the evenings we have some sadza [maize porridge].
The agricultural disaster that the Zanu-PF caused by appropriating white owned farms may not have been sheer stupidity. Like Josef Stalin before him, Mugabe may have planned the deliberate starvation of millions of his countrymen to place his party in a position of power as controllers of food – choose Zanu-PF and live, choose MDC and die. Zimbabwe is a sad, sad place, but it’s a sad world that stands by and allows the situation to deteriorate.