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Zimbabwe's Cash Aid Scheme Irks Bulawayo Residents

Activist group Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association says it has petitioned the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and the police over the disbursement of the Harmonized Social Cash Transfer Scheme, meant to assist needy households mostly headed by children and the elderly following complaints from the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries also include the disabled and the chronically ill, who were selected from 10 districts Zimbabwe to receive between $10 and $25 per month.

The group’s director, Roderick Fayayo said families in the city’s Magwegwe suburb complained that they did not regularly receive their allocation since the start of the program in May.

Social Welfare Minister Paurina Mpariwa acknowledged receiving the petition from the activist group saying her ministry has dispatched a team to Bulawayo to investigate the complaints.

Mpariwa said the confusion could be stemming from the fact that the government delayed to complete a payment cycle for May and June in other districts> "Despite that, I believe that the program is going on very well," she said.

At least $1.7 million has been spent so far on more than 18,000 households in a nation with over one million orphans. The government plans to help 250,000 households by 2015.