Saturday, September 30, 2023

44 percent of Zimbabwean population food insecure

…Chingwizi put under special vulnerability status

Brighton Chiseva

MWENEZI – 44 percent of Zimbabwean population are food insecure owing to the poor harvest caused by poor rains in the last farming season, a government minister has said.
Speaking at the launch of Social welfare food aid programme at Chinyuni School in Mwenezi, Deputy Minister of Public Service and Social Welfare Senator Lovemore Matuke said about 44 percent of the country’s population was food insecure while 66 percent of Mwenezi District was in the same bracket.
The development has led to his ministry resolving to make Mwenezi District a special vulnerability case where the district will have a special food support from government.
“44 percent of the Zimbabwean population is food insecure, however, no one will die of hunger as has been promised by the president. We have also established that 66percent of Mwenezi population is food insecure and government will give you food support up to March next year where we will assess the situation basing on the harvest and if there is need, we will continue supporting you.
“Chingwizi is now a special case, when we allocate for Masvingo, we will have a special delivery for Chingwizi which is not mixed with other areas. We will continue supporting you until you have irrigation here because as it stands, even if we have good rains, you have small land, one hectare is not enough to produce food that can sustain a family for a year,” said Matuke
Matuke went on to say everyone was supposed to benefit regardless of political or religious affiliation.
“Everyone should benefit from the food support regardless of political affiliation or religion,” said Matuke
He said they launched the programme in Chingwizi because of its vulnerability and they would want to hear other challenges the area was facing and take them to the president.
Matuke said his ministry had designed a special working relationship with other partners to avoid double dipping where some areas benefit from two or more organisations.
“We have our developing partners mainly Non Governmental Organisations (NGO)s and we crafted a policy which enables us not to compete but complement each other. So, we will make sure that each and every organisation is targeting a specific area so that other areas won’t benefit twice,” said Matuke.
Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira echoed the same sentiments on the beneficiaries saying everyone should benefit and urged them to report to his office if the food distribution was abused.
“Everyone should benefit and if there is anyone who deprive others report them to us so that we chase them to go and work for those who tell them to deprive others,” said Chadzamira
Chief Chitanga born Feleni Chitanga said they welcome the development but said they the responsible authorities should make sure the aid is delivered at the dorrstep to avoid people from forking out money for transport.
“We welcome this development but as you know, our people are poor, and they don’t have money, so please address the transport challenge issues so that they won’t be asked to pay transport fees,” said Chitanga
He went on to call for government to address the land issue saying one hectare was too little for a family and they have no grazing land.
“You heard them complaining, they do not have land to plough and I don’t even know where they plant the inputs you give them. They do not have grazing lands so please address that,” said Chitanga
Chingwizi area consist of mainly people who were displaced following the construction of Tugwi Mukosi dam.
Many families were displaced after floods hit the area and were resettled in Chingwizi where they were each family was given a hectare.

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