Members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) have reportedly been roped in to oversee the food distribution programme following reports of unfair distribution of food aid in Bulawayo.
This comes at a time when 5.7 million people in the country are said to be in need of food aid.
In July, Public Service Minister Sekai Nzenza said the government would also be distributing food to urban households.
Speaking on the progress of the food distribution during a resident`s meeting in Pumula on Friday, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) ward 17 chairperson, Mandlenkosi Gumunyu told residents that the country`s security organs will now be involved in t food distribution programme to curb alleged corruption.
“The social welfare said there is no maize at the moment to distribute. We are likely to receive maize sometime next month,” said Gumunyu.
“They said the grain marketing board is empty at the moment and they are waiting to receive maize from Tanzania by November.
“But you should know that maize will no longer be distributed like before where some residents were involved in the process. The task force will now be involved in the process and these include, the police, social welfare department, the army and Zimbabwe correctional services,” he said.
Gumunyu said this is a way of trying to curb corruption that has been taking place during food distribution.
“Many people here were now enemies because of the issue of food distribution, so I think the new system will help in rebuilding relations in our community as the programme has been released from our hands.
“Let me hasten to say as residents let us avoid being greedy and learn to share the little that comes to help our community as everyone here is suffering, so when food comes let us make sure that it is distribute equally among families and avoid going as a whole family, a situation that has seen some families benefiting whilst other families leave with nothing,”said Gumunyu.
Meanwhile, a resident, Funwel Moyo said they welcome the move as food was now being distributed on political lines.
“We welcome the news that we heard here, that the task force will now be involved in food distribution. I feel this is a good move as individuals from different parties were now using this programme for political gains,” said Moyo .
“The involvement of the task force will ensure that everyone is catered for whether old, orphans or anyone who needs help because at the end of the day we are all suffering.”
In addition, Sithembekile Ncube, also a resident said they were also being segregated on age.
“We welcome the move of the involvement of the task force as long as they will also not fall for corrupt tendencies because we have had experiences of people going as far as rural areas to get their relatives for them to be given maize in our wards.
“Also, the issue of segregation according to age, it just meant that as long as there is no older person at home then we will not be part of programme, so I think this time we will also be able to get something at home,” Ncube said.