US accuses Zimbabwe of hijacking food aid

June 13th, 2008 - 6:11 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 13 (DPA) The US Thursday accused the Zimbabwean government of intercepting a shipment of food aid and dishing it out to ruling party officials. Twenty tonnes of the food was taken off a truck near Bambazonke and then given to Zanu-PF party officials during a rally June 6, said Gonzalo Gallegos, a US State Department spokesman.

“What we had here was the Zimbabwe military and police officials hijacking a truck that was carrying 20 tonnes of humanitarian food aid that was directed for hungry Zimbabwean children,” Gallegos said.

The seizure was another example of Zimbabwean officials seeking to punish citizens opposed to the rule of President Robert Mugabe, who faces a run-off election June 27.

The US also calls on Zimbabwe to lift a ban that keeps humanitarian groups from operating in the countryside, Gallegos said.

“Failure to do so constitutes … Zimbabwean complicity in the assault, suffering and deaths of innocent citizens,” he said.

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