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Villagers told not to pay for food aid

by Staff reporter
18 Feb 2020 at 05:41hrs | Views
VILLAGERS receiving food aid should not contribute money towards its transportation as that is the responsibility of the local authorities.

In an interview yesterday, the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Larry Mavima, said it would be a tall order for villagers who survive partly on subsistence farming to contribute money towards the transportation of food aid.

Rather, Minister Mavima said local authorities who collect levies and rentals from businesses operating under their jurisdiction should carry that load.

Villagers in the province's eight administrative districts have been getting food aid from Government but transport challenges have been reported - a negative development that has seen villagers being asked to contribute as much as $10 towards transport.

"There have been some delays in the distribution of food aid in some parts of the province mainly due to transport logistics. As a result, we have heard of cases where the beneficiaries are being asked to contribute money towards transportation of the food aid.  

"But Government is saying no. We can't have the vulnerable people parting with the little money they have. So, we have given this responsibility of making sure that the food aid reaches its intended beneficiaries to the local authorities," said Minister Mavima.

He said all local authorities should be collecting levies, taxes from any businesses operating in their jurisdiction.

"If the area has artisanal miners, they should be paying levies, taxes to that local authority like licenses up to the big mining companies.  

"Local authorities are supposed to benefit so that the people in their areas benefit also. If there are farmers, they should also be paying something to cushion the local authorities to have funds to assist Government in such programmes like taking food aid to the people," said Minister Mavima.

There are more than 800 000 people in the Midlands Province facing acute food shortages as of December. This is about 63 percent of the province's population. The Government is feeding about 176 000 households with Gokwe North, Gokwe South, Zvishavane and Mberengwa the most affected districts in the province.

Minister Mavima said Government is stepping up food relief programme to ensure there will be food security at household level.

President Mnangagwa has said that no one will die of hunger in this country.

Source - chronicle