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Drought: Govt reluctant to give cash transfers

Local News
Information minister Jenfan Muswere

GOVERNMENT says it is reluctant to dole out cash transfers as a cushion for the El Niño-induced drought effects fearing that citizens may misuse the money.

Speaking during post-Cabinet briefing in Harare yesterday, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the government was prioritising grain supply.

“Our approach has been a commodity approach, thus giving out grain, but also cash transfers. But as of our preferences, we are mainly giving out food, then we know that people are going to eat it,” Ncube said.

“Usually with cash, cash is tangible. It could be used in ways I do not support, but we are doing both urban and rural areas.”

Ncube said government was still to make a decision on how much money an individual would receive.

Information minister Jenfan Muswere said the first three-month distribution blitz, which started in May this year, was coming to an end this month.

“Accordingly, modalities for the second phase, August to October 2024 are being worked out.

“These include the grain movement plan, urban cash distribution plan and mobilisation of more financial resources for the three months’ distribution,” he said.

“As at July 2, 2024, a cumulative 62 796,84 metric tonnes (MT) of grain had been distributed to vulnerable and food insecure people across the country’s provinces as follows: a) Manicaland, 9 050,20 MT; b) Mashonaland Central, 7 844,61 MT; c) Mashonaland East, 6 207,03 MT; d) Mashonaland West, 7 919,99 MT; e) Masvingo, 12 246,18 MT; f) Matabeleland North, 4 248,39 MT; g) Matabeleland South, 5 201,15 MT; and h) Midlands, 10 104,95 MT.”

Muswere said 3 397,33 MT had been collected to date by chiefs across all provinces under the Zunde RaMambo/Isiphala Senkosi Strategic Grain Reserve Distribution Programme.

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