APF slams parties dishing out food parcels, it’s bribery for votes

African People First (APF) has condemned political parties that are handing food parcels to low-income households as a way of trying to woo voters for the upcoming general elections. 

The party said that the distribution of food parcels during election campaigns was a disturbing trend. It said this is aimed at making a mockery of the people.

Gross distortion of democratic principles

“APF strongly denounces the practice of political parties distributing food parcels during election campaigns. This exploitative tactic preys upon the vulnerable conditions of our African populace. [It is] constituting a gross distortion of democratic principles,” said APF president Muzi Hlengwa.

He also added that these political parties that dish out food parcels use the tactic as a way of buying votes. The APF leader said the trend is rife in poor communities.

“APF firmly believes that the distribution of food parcels by political entities amounts to a form of bribery. [It is] designed to manipulate voters and coerce them into supporting specific parties. Such actions undermine the integrity of the electoral process. It compromises the freedom of choice that is fundamental to democracy.

“It has come to our attention that, in some instances, individuals are required to provide evidence of voting for a particular party. [This is] before receiving these food parcels or financial incentives,” said Hlengwa.

Unethical electoral malpractice

He alleged that the trend was also an act of electoral malpractice, as it was deemed as unethical and corrupt practice.

The party has made its intentions clear: it will petition the courts for immediate intervention.

Court petition

“We seek an order to criminalise the distribution of food parcels by political parties during election periods. APF views this practice as tantamount to solicitation or bribery. The intention is to unduly influence the electorate. We call upon the courts to uphold the principles of fairness and transparency in our electoral processes. They should prohibit the use of food vouchers or any other material inducements. These are trends by political parties during election campaigns,” he said.

Thabo Buthelezi, an independent researcher, said that due to poverty, many people fall into the trap of accepting food parcels. They also find themselves voting for the parties that have provided them with food parcels.

Making a mockery of the impoverished

“This trend of food parcels is also an act of spitting on the faces of our people, as it is also making a mockery of their plight of poverty. We have seen many political parties using this tactic. And once they get voted, they disappear from the same people they have bribed with food.

“It should be noted that our people live in abject poverty. For them to be taken for a ride by political parties through the distribution of food parcels, it’s an insult,” said Buthelezi.

Visit SW YouTube Channel for our video content

Latest News