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Ruling party uses food to hold power, says prelate. (World).

ZIMBABWE: President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is using the food crisis to force people to vote for the ruling party, said Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Throughout the country people are required to show ruling-party membership cards before they can buy corn, Ncube said in a Nov. 26 telephone interview from Bulawayo.

"This is forcing ordinary people to be dishonest,' he said, noting that many people have two cards, one for the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front and the other showing membership of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. As food becomes increasingly scarce, only those with Patriotic Front cards can obtain something to eat, the archbishop said. In addition, opposition supporters are refused attention at health facilities and service at stores, he said. "Men, women and children were, and still are, being deliberately starved," Ncube said.

The current crisis poses a threat of starvation to more than half of Zimbabwe's population of 11 million.
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Title Annotation:Zimbabwe
Author:Donovan, Gill
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:6ZIMB
Date:Dec 13, 2002
Words:157
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