Community leaders under probe for food aid abuse

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Gweru, (New Ziana)-The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission is investigating community leaders in Gokwe North and Mvuma in the Midlands province who are suspected of bias and partisanship in distributing food aid, an official has said.

Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister Larry Mavima said this while warning against bias and partisanship in the distribution of food aid.

“Some of those issues are true. We have had some unscrupulous community leaders who have taken it upon themselves to decide who gets food aid and who doesn’t. That is not government policy, which states that whoever needs food aid gets it.

“We had some couple of incidents in Gokwe North and in Mvuma where community leaders are found to have carried out such practices. I am glad to say that the Human Rights Commission was involved in those matters and currently they are being investigated. Once they are concluded, appropriate action will be taken by Government.”

Mavima encouraged citizens to report such acts so that corrective measures are taken.

Some of the worst drought affected districts in the province include Mberengwa, Gokwe North, Gokwe South and Chirumanzu.

Meanwhile, more than 170 000 families in Midlands province are in need of food aid, following a poor 2018/19 agricultural season.

Mavima said the government had been providing food to all districts to mitigate against hunger.

“We have 170 290 households that need food aid and that translates to 8 814 metric tons per month. We have been able to provide this food from the beginning of this year to all these households, district by district.

“For all the eight districts, we have been able to provide that food on a monthly basis.

“People must understand how this food is distributed. It is distributed through the department of Social Welfare which works hand in hand with ward councilors who would have identified those needy families, like child headed families, the elderly, disabled and they will go to the Grain Marketing Board to get the food,” he said.

New Ziana

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