Sunday, April 19, 2015

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Who Gets to Eat? Political Food Manipulation in Zimbabwe

Think Africa Press has obtained a video revealing Zimbabwe's main parties using food to secure votes.
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Think Africa Press has obtained a film revealing rival political parties in Zimbabwe using food and farming inputs to manipulate voters ahead of elections scheduled in July 2013. Made up of footage obtained from various meetings, the video highlights the ways in which both ZANU-PF and the MDC-T use the promise of farming supplies in a bid to secure votes.

The video begins with an MDC activist explaining that when the political environment is active, parties look for a way to keep people close, and in an environment of drought and hunger, the promise of food and farming supplies is one of the most powerful methods of ensuring this.

In the town of Bindura, situated 88 miles north-east of the capital, Harare, ZANU-PF distribute maize seeds under strict instructions that the seed is for ZANU-PF supporters only. Meanwhile, an MDC-T supporter based in Shamva, Mashonaland Central Province, explains that those who acquired fertiliser from the MDC-T party will not receive anything from ZANU-PF.

The video ends with footage of ZANU-PF officials warning supporters that if they share their seeds with individuals who “demonise the president”, they will be arrested and taken to jail.

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