Chimanimani District Administrator, Lloyd Kasima on Friday threatened to have Free Zim Congress leader and businessman, Joseph Busha arrested over “unsanctioned distribution of food aid” to Cyclone Idai survivors, 263Chat has learnt.
Busha, one of the 23 presidential candidates in the July 2018 elections, had visited the cyclone-ravaged community of Chimanimani to donate 400 bags of 5kgs mealie meal.
The South African based businessman had initially donated more than 50 bags of mealie meal at Tiya village before proceeding to Ngangu Township.
Upon arrival at Ngangu Township, Busha, according to a reliable source, proceeded to meet the DA and Chimanimani East Member of Parliament, Joshua Sacco and other district members.
Kusima took Busha to task over his donation which he said had been done without the involvement of government.
“When Busha arrived, he was asked why he had handed over mealie meal without consulting the DA’s office. Busha urged that he had he had done so on humanitarian grounds and had considered that not all areas where accessible due to damaged road network.
“The DA then said if Busha had been caught in the act (of distributing the food items) he would have been arrested as he was undermining protocol. He said Busha would have been in big trouble if he had been caught.
“It is then that Busha told the DA that protocol should not deprived people who are really in need of food,” the source said.
The DA is alleged to have told Busha that next time he should come through the provincial offices which will direct him to the DA’s office.
Contacted for comment, Busha said his donation was not a political distribution but a humanitarian one.
He condemned the confrontational approach saying it intimidates people who would want to help in the future.
“This is a Zanu-PF way of doing things and it scares away those who want to help. This is also an infringement of the right of movement for people as those in need should be allowed to get food assistance from whoever wants to help them.
“Why should we go through protocol when we want to help, this opens up chances of politicization of relief aid, ” Busha said.
“The biggest challenge about relief aid is there is a lot manipulation. There are people who benefit and are not supposed to benefit and officials don’t really care.
“Myself as an individual and as a representative of people, certainly I was very touched hence we were not doing this on political or bipartisan basis that’s why we took the donations to the people and the district’s offices to make sure that we put into their hands and they donate to those in great need,” said Busha.
Among those that received the aid in Tiya village were people clad in Zanu-PF regalia.
Sacco told 263Chat that the new dispensation led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa is tolerant enough and will continue to accept goods from anyone regardless of political affiliation.
“Under the new dispensation, the political space has been opened up and Zimbabwe is a free country. It actually shows that this would never happen under the old era, this is the new dispensation for you,” he said.
Tiya village headman, SaTiya paid homage to Busha over the donations saying despite being one of the affected people, they have only received aid once.
“We are hungry and suffering, we are told that people are donating but that food is not getting to us, we have only received aid once and this is the second time. Our people really need this food and we appeal for more,” he said.
There has been a lot of concern over the distribution of food aid and relief items as allegations of manipulation have surfaced