BY NUNURAI JENA
MAKONDE villagers have appealed to aid agencies operating in the area to dole out food aid to all community members as they were food insecure.
The villagers said they were against the ongoing screening exercise which they said was prone to manipulation by community leaders.
Raymond Mazani of Gamburi village in Makonde, said Red Cross and World Food Programme (WFP) should give all villagers food aid without relying on lists provided by community leaders.
“There is no need for vetting of villagers to see who is worse off because everyone is starving here … they should try to give at least something to each and every household,” Mazani said last week.
Makonde legislator Kindness Paradza (Zanu PF) confirmed that there was a serious food deficit in his constituency, with about 67 000 people in need of food aid.
He said organisations helping villagers could not cater for all the people, probably because of limited resources.
“Yes, everyone has been affected one way or the other, but we are looking at those worst affected and who cannot help themselves, especially the elderly and child-headed families,” Paradza said.
Red Cross spokesperson Morris Machawira said his organisation provided about 57 045 villagers in six wards with food aid and villagers vetted themselves.
“We are helping about 57 000 villagers with food aid and remember we are not involved in the vetting process. The villagers come up with a list of the most affected,” he said.
WFP says nearly half of the country’s population is in need of food aid this lean season.