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Govt Fails to Give Zimbabwe Villagers Food For Work Aid

FILE: Women get food aid from a non-governmental organization.

Villagers of Dombwe, Zvimba communal lands in Mashonaland West province, who are engaged in food-for-work programs, are complaining that they are being denied food aid after working in state programs like upgrading local roads.

The villagers, who normally work for 15 days a month in public programs run by the Ministry of Social Welfare, said state officials claim that in most cases there are more people than the intended beneficiaries that receive 50 kilogram bags of mealie-meal.

Waze villager, Getrude Kagweda, said though food-for-work programs are good in ensuring that some local people get food aid, the Ministry of Social Welfare is letting them down.

Another villager, Emilly Sigauke, added that it is unfair for people to work for the state without getting any benefits.

A mother of four, Janet Makanditswa of Mukwasha village, said she failed to get her bag of maize recently after working for 15 days.

Sigauke said food distributed per household is not adequate due to the fact that many families have more than four children.

The villagers also claimed that the food is usually distributed at night by some officials of the Ministry of Social Welfare, who declined to comment.

But another Chirau villager, Petronella Munaba, said despite some of these problems the government is doing all it can to help those in need of food aid in this drought-ravaged region.

Munaba said villagers should appreciate what the government is doing under very difficult economic times.

According to the Mashonaland West Resident Minister Faber Chidarikire, more than 94,000 people in the region are in need of food aid. He said no one will die of hunger as they have received enough food for the needy in the province.

Chidarikire said initially there were some logistical problems which were resolved when army trucks were deployed to help distribute maize in the remote parts of the region.

Report on Food For Work Filed By Arthur Chigoriwa
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