Harare (New Ziana)-The Zimbabwe government on Thursday dismissed allegations that food aid items meant for Cyclone Idai victims were rotting in warehouses in Manicaland province.
Cyclone Idai pounded the province early this year, prompting an overwhelming flow of food and non-food aid to the affected areas from across the world.
However, reports last week suggested that some of the food donations had since expired while locked up at Charter Hall and Nyahode District Union warehouses in the province.
The government, through the Department of Civil Protection, then ordered the Manicaland Provincial Development Coordinator’s office to investigate the allegations.
According to a report by the Herald newspaper, some of the food items that expired while awaiting distribution included 30 tons of maize meal, 1 850kg of corn soya blend, 1 150 kg of plain flour, 500 x 6 packets sugar beans and 1000kg of Maheu Instant.
But, Minister of State for Manicaland province Ellen Gwaradzimba told the Senate that investigations had revealed that only 23 bags of flour had expired while sugar beans and Maheu were still fit for consumption.
“Investigations revealed that the quantity of mealie-meal that was condemned was zero. Some of the mealie-meal is expiring in 2020 while some is expiring at the end of September,” she said.
“The flour that we found expired was donated after its expiry date in March.”
She added; “I was surprised by reports that there are food items that were rotting in the warehouses because we are distributing food to the people.”
Thousands of families in Manicaland were affected by the cyclone which also left a trail of destruction in some parts of Mozambique and Malawi.