Zimbabwe Seizes Food Aid for Children

20 tons were distributed to Mugabe supporters instead
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 6:12 AM CDT
Children stand outside their home in a Harare suburb Sunday, June 8, 2008. Last week, the government ordered all independent aid groups to suspend field work indefinitely, a move the U.N. says puts at...   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Authorities in Zimbabwe seized a truck containing 20 tons of American food aid intended for poor schoolchildren, the New York Times reports, and distributed the wheat and beans instead to supporters of Robert Mugabe at a political rally. After last week's suspension of all humanitarian aid, the seizure of the American supplies, intended to provide lunches at 26 schools, has provoked fresh outrage.

"This government will stop at nothing, even starving the most defenseless people in the country—young children—to realize their political ambitions," said the American ambassador to Harare. The Mugabe regime, claiming that NGOs are supporting the opposition in the runoff presidential election later this month, blocked emergency food distribution in a country where agricultural production has collapsed and millions depend on aid.