By Richard Muponde
THERE was pandemonium in Nkulumane 12 on Tuesday after officials from the Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare ministry bungled the grain distribution process, leading to residents running amok and denouncing President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
The grain, distributed at White House distribution centre, was meant for vulnerable people, who reportedly failed to access the handouts which were given to
some undeserving people.
Officials from social welfare department reportedly did not use the beneficiaries list opting to write new names instead.
The grain was supposed to benefit residents of wards 20 and 23, but reports indicated that some people from as far as Umguza, outside Bulawayo, benefited.
This led to chaos as tempers flared after some of the intended beneficiaries went home empty-handed.
The mob denounced Mnangagwa, alleging he was a failure and insensitive to the plight of impoverished citizens.
Nelson Tshuma, who lives with a disability, was bitter over his missing name, saying the officials’ attitude was evidence that Mnangagwa’s government had
“If you are a father and all your children are hungry, how can you feed some and leave others starving. What kind of a father is that. Everyone in this country
is hungry. Why then did these social welfare people refuse to give grain to some of us, yet we have seen undeserving people getting the grain?” Tshuma said.
Patricia Moyo said what the team had done was indicative that Mnangagwa’s administration was worse off than that of former President Robert Mugabe.
“During Mugabe’s era, no one would be removed from the list of beneficiaries. Instead, the number would have been increased, with more people benefitting. What we are witnessing here shows that the administration has failed to cater for its people. No one is better than the other. We are all hungry,” Moyo said.
The social welfare team incensed the beneficiaries by telling them to go and report wherever they wanted, even the media, as nothing would happen to them
because they were well connected.
When the NewsDay arrived at the scene, around 4pm, beneficiaries were baying for the social welfare team’s blood, accusing them of bungling.
Among those who failed to get grain were people living with disabilities, the sick and child-headed families.
Some were seen scavenging for nuggets of grain which had fallen on the ground.
Efforts to get a comment from the team leader, who did not identify herself, but was being referred to as the district administrator, hit a brick wall after
she directed all questions to the Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan, Judith Ncube.
“We have nothing to say to you. You can talk to the minister,” she said.
Ncube said she had not received a report on the matter.
“I haven’t received a report on that. There’s something wrong which happened there. Who was the DA there? Let me phone the provincial administrator and hear
what really transpired. It’s not supposed to be like that,” Ncube said.
Some residents said grain should be distributed to all vulnerable groups since everyone was going hungry.