Former finance minister Felix Mutati says there’s no excuse for allowing people to riot over food, urging government to ensure that the distribution of relief food is non-partisan.

On Friday, Mfuwe District of Eastern Province residents rioted over the distribution of mealie meal which they argued was not enough to cater for everyone.

Commenting on the fracas, Mutati said people should not be reduced to fighting for food.

“We are going through a lot of difficulties including that of hunger. The reports that are emerging from Mfuwe about the food riots are quite unfortunate. All of us must understand that hunger can be embarrassing. Hunger is provocative. We must realize that hunger is politically neutral. It is non-partisan. So, I call upon government to take full charge of the distribution process to our people in Mfuwe. Let not our people be reduced to fighting for food,” said Mutati.

“We have been told that there is enough relief food and therefore, there is no excuse to allow a riot other than the mechanisms of distribution. So, colleagues, take charge and ensure that the distribution is politically neutral.”

Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu confirmed the riots to media but said no one was injured as a result of the confusion.

“There was a bit of some confusion arising from the fact that during the distribution of food, there were those that thought the food was not enough to cater for everyone looking at the number that was there. They didn’t think that more food would come at a particular stage and everyone wanted to go away with something. So out of that irritation, there was a bit of confusion but that was solved by the police. There is no report of any injury on the part of any person,” said Zulu.