HOUSEHOLDS in arid and semi-arid areas that were affected by countrywide drought are set to benefit from a 30 000-tonne grain reserve issued by Government to cushion vulnerable villagers.
With drought now imminent in some parts of the country due to erratic rains in the just ended farming season, Government has reiterated that no Zimbabwean will starve.
In Gwanda District, 20 tonnes of maize has been delivered in Sengezane Village under Garanyemba communal lands to cushion villagers who did not realise good harvests from the previous agricultural season.
Addressing mourners at the late Chief Nhlamba’s homestead in Gwanda District on Friday, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga said villagers would be given grain to ensure that no one goes hungry.
“As I was coming here, I also got to understand the problems affecting this area. Because of the weather, which affected most of the country this year, in this particular place, no one harvested any crop therefore there is a lot of hunger among our people.
I’ve told the Honourable Minister that starting today (Friday), grain will come here for distribution to the people. However, we want the number of all the people because we’ve already issued 30 000 tonnes for those who didn’t get grain this year because of the bad weather,” said Dr Chiwenga.
He said Government had kept reserves from the bumper harvest in the previous farming season.
“We’ll not have any one of our people suffering from hunger. We had a bumper harvest the previous year and kept reserves in case we had bad harvests which we experienced this particular year. The food to distribute to each and everyone is there so we’re asking the relevant authorities to make sure that wherever there is hunger, it must be reported immediately and those people are given the food,” he said.
Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga consoles the widow of the late Chief Nhlamba, Ms Thato Siziba (with pink blanket) at their homestead in Sengezane, Gwanda District
Dr Chiwenga also called on the provincial and district structures to identify areas where new clinics would be built.
“The distance between areas where our people get medical assistance is too much such that some have to walk 45 kilometers to access a health facility for treatment. That has to end. We want the areas identified and clinics built so that our people can go to nearby areas for assistance,” he said.
Dr Chiwenga extended his condolences to the late Chief Nhlamba’s family saying the traditional leader was development oriented.
“His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa has sent me to extend his heartfelt condolences to the Nhlamba family, the community, the Matabeleland South province and the nation at large on the untimely death of Chief Nhlamba. I wish also, on my own behalf, to extend my deepest condolences to the Nhlamba family during this difficult time. The late chief was keen to see Government programmes and projects implemented in his area. For instance, he mobilised the community to participate in the construction of Tuli-Manyange Dam in this area. In addition, the chief was a member of the anti-stock theft unit,” said Dr Chiwenga.
He continued: “Under the Second Republic, His Excellency the President has said no one and no place should be left behind. This is why you see there is rushed development in all the regions which had been left behind for so many years particularly region four and five around the country. Tuli-Manyange was not only going to provide water in Matabeleland South but water was also going to be sold to neighbouring Botswana. That would bring a lot of development in this area.”
Dr Chiwenga said it was the Government’s objective to develop the country such that no Zimbabwean will go outside the country to look for work.
“We want people to work in our country. We’ve lost a leader whose resolve was to ensure development in this area and in line with the national developmental thrust through Vision 2030. As Government, we mourn the loss of a trusted custodian of both our rich Zimbabwean culture and contemporary values. May I implore all of us to emulate the exemplary life well lived by Chief Nhlamba. As we mourn his passing on, let us be comforted by the fact that he has left an indelible legacy of development, peace, love and harmony,” said Dr Chiwenga.
He took time to console Chief Nhlamba’s close family members including his wife and handed over US$2 000.
The late Chief Nhlamba’s younger brother, Mr Jeffrey Ndlovu expressed gratitude to Dr Chiwenga and President Mnangagwa saying the family was grateful for the support rendered during its dark hour.
“We didn’t expect this gift and couldn’t have managed the expenses by ourselves. May God continue to lead you. Thank you very much. We also want to thank the Vice-President for consoling us,” said Mr Ndlovu.
The late Chief Nhlamba of Gwanda who died last weekend was granted a State-assisted burial and was laid to rest at his rural home in Garanyemba on Saturday.
Born Dennis Ndlovu, Chief Nhlamba was installed on July 16, 2010 and had served the traditional leadership institution for 12 years.
He died at the age of 75 after a long illness.
Chief Nhlamba is survived by his wife, a son, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.