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Govt distributes ‘rotten’ maize in Hwange

VILLAGERS in Kamativi are up in arms accusing government officials in Hwange district of unfair distribution of food aid and also allegedly doling out rotten maize in March this year.

The villagers told Southern Eye during interviews recently that they had not received food aid for the past three months before they received the rotten maize.

They also revealed that the situation in the drought-hit district had become dire, pleading with the government to assist them until the next harvest.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared the El Niño-induced drought a state of national disaster with the majority of villagers in the Matabeleland region now relaying on food aid from non-governmental organisations and government’s Department of Social Welfare.

In an interview a villager, Portia Tshuma called on the government to investigate how they ended up receiving rotten maize.

“After three months of not getting food aid because of logistics and transport problems as we were told last month, we received rotten maize. There is serious mistreatment of villagers from this region” she said.

Thulani Muleya, from Ndangababi village, ward 16, said the situation was dire with most of the villagers forced to sell their valuable belongings including livestock.

“We are in a dire situation as you understand that we did not receive much rain; we are pleading with the government, particularly the President to come to our rescue so that we can reach the next rain season,” Muleya said.

“We are starving just like our livestock and we need assistance from the government. We are also selling our livestock for peanuts as we exchange them for food,” he said.

Muleya said villagers were selling their cattle for as low as US$50 with goats being sold for as little as US$15 as the drought hits hard the region.

Contacted for comment, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs and Devolution minister Richard Moyo referred Southern Eye to the head for social welfare in the province.

However, provincial social development officer Sicelo Nyathi had not responded to inquiries by late yesterday.

Source | SouthernEye


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