Guruve residents urge govt to increase food handouts



AS HUNGER stalks communities in Guruve, Mashonaland Central province, following poor rains this season, hundreds of families converged at Mushoshoma Secondary School and Kadzimwenje in Bakasa ward 20, Guruve North constituency on Sunday and yesterday to receive 600 bags of maize under the presidential food relief programme.

Guruve North legislator Grover Dzepasi said disadvantaged villagers, including the elderly, disabled and child-headed families rely on the presidential food aid, hence, there was need to increase the number of bags.

“Following the poor rains this farming season a lot of people in Guruve now depend on presidential food aid. We would want to thank the President [Emmerson Mnangagwa] for coming up with such an initiative every month and we are also calling for the increase of the food aid, otherwise all these people would die of hunger had it not been for the mercy of our President,” Dzepasi said.

One of the beneficiaries, Chenai Tundu, also implored the government to increase food handouts.

“We are imploring the government to increase the handouts since many are relying on this programme,” lamented Tundu.

Ward 20 councillor Bhoyidho Gwaze concurred.

Another villager, Riyamu Kamuzonde, however, believes villagers should not rely on handouts.

“We should not be cry-babies. What the President is doing for us is enough. People should learn to stand on their own and feed themselves. Let us run around as patriotic citizens, knowing that life is not easy for everyone,” Kamuzonde said.

Community members in Bakasa are also losing the few thriving crops to baboons.

“In Bakasa, we did not do much in the fields due to poor rains. But to make matters worse, the remaining harvest is being feasted on by baboons,” Kamuzonde added.

According to statistics availed by the Mashonaland provincial social welfare offices, 70 080 households are in need of food aid, with Mbire, Guruve, Mt Darwin, Rushinga and Muzarabani districts having already requested for an increase in grain allocation.

Mbire is the most affected since most transporters are avoiding the routes due to the poor road network.