Govt breathes fire as Cyclone Idai food donations decay and expire in warehouses

GOVERNMENT, through the Department of Civil Protection, has ordered the Manicaland Provincial Development Coordinator’s office to prepare a detailed report following revelations that food items donated to Cyclone Idai victims were rotting in warehouses in Chimanimani East.

The development follows a report carried Thursday highlighting how the food donations had passed their consumption date while locked up at Charter Hall and Nyahode District Union warehouses.

The Department of Civil Protection falls under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

“We are waiting for a fully detailed report from the district and the administrator (Mr Edgars Seenza) will also give us more information,” said Department of Civil Protection director Mr Nathan Nkomo.

“We have decentralised structures up to the provincial and district level. The provincial administrator must give us the inside story and we are waiting for a detailed report from Manicaland.”

The Herald is reliably informed that some foodstuffs have either decayed or expired while locked up in the warehouses.

“Among the food items that have expired while in the warehouses awaiting distribution are the following: 30 tonnes of mealie meal, 1 850kg of corn soya blend, 1 150kg of plain flour, 500×6 packets sugar beans and 1 000kg of Maheu Instant,” a source told The Herald.

The 30 tonnes of mealie meal expired on September 7.

The 1 150kg of plain flour expired on March 27, while the Maheu Instant donations passed consumption date on August 18.

The Herald news crew visited the warehouses on Tuesday, but could not gain access as they were locked.

The keys to the warehouses are reportedly kept in the Chimanimani District Development Coordinator’s office.

On Wednesday, Mr Seenza confirmed receiving reports suggesting food donations were rotting in the warehouse, but referred questions the District Coordinator Mr John Misi, who was not reachable for a comment.

Chimanimani East legislator Joshua Sacco also confirmed perishables had rotten while some foodstuffs had expired.

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