LEGENDARY former Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahowa is excited to be part of an initiative that is providing food parcels to the elderly and underprivileged in Harare’s Mufakose suburb in these coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic times.
Mucherahowa, who is now based in the United Kingdom, has joined hands with other luminaries from Mufakose to come to the rescue of those failing to make ends meet during these trying times.
Other football personalities that are part of the scheme are former Dynamos defender Ernest Chirambadare, former Black Aces and Warriors defender Charles Kaseke, David Ndunduma and former Darry T star Thomas Mudzengerere.
Ever since the government declared coronavirus an emergency and imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 30, many Zimbabweans have struggled to put food on the table.
The country is facing one of its worst food crises due to the combined effects of failed economic and agricultural policies, corruption, consecutive poor agricultural seasons, the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, and now, Covid-19.
At least 5,5 million Zimbabweans including those in urban areas are in desperate need of food aid and this is why Mucherahowa and his colleagues have come up with this scheme in Mufakose.
“I’m also part of this small group of people, who grew up in Mufakose and came up with this initiative to raise something and cushion the needy in our hood during this time of Covid-19 which has made life difficult for a lot of people,” Mucherahowa told the Daily News on Sunday.
“It’s a good initiative, really. We are helping not because we are rich but it’s something that is driven by the sense of giving back to a community that shaped us and gave us a stepping stone to become who we are today. We hope to be doing more going forward actually.”
The former DeMbare skipper urged other prominent people from the suburb to play their role since the coronavirus has greatly affected the income of most households.
“There are a lot of people who hail from Mufakose and I urge them to come on board and be part of this great initiative,” Mucherahowa said.
“We should show our love by giving back to the community; I’m thrilled and I hope a lot of people will come on board.”
Mucherahowa lauded Agatha Chiseya, one of the front people in the initiative and who is running around on the ground making deliveries to those in need.
Chiseya said since the programme started they have managed to provide basics like mealie-meal, cooking oil, sugar, salt and soap to at least 15 families.
That number is set to increase to 250 families as more and more well-wishers have come on board to complement their efforts.
“It’s quite amazing how this thing started because of coronavirus, face masks became mandatory and I noticed that most elderly people and the disabled from our neighbourhood could not easily access them,” Chiseya told the Daily News on Sunday.
“I then approached some people and we began an initiative where we mobilised and raised masks for distribution.
“I should say I was overwhelmed by the response that we got from those who grew up in Mufakose and it was during that time when we were distributing that people said they wanted food instead.
“We just said why can’t we go for it; we started talking to each other about the whole thing and it has since become a huge success.”
Chiseya added: “Most people from Mufakose, who are living abroad have joined hands and are contributing money towards the noble cause.Mucherahowa, Ndunduma, Kaseke, Rebecca Mangwende are some of the people mobilising from the diaspora.
“There are also a lot of people from Canada, South Africa and Botswana with roots in Mufakose, who are working towards this and it’s humbling I tell you. We have a committee led by Chirambadare as the chairperson while Mudzengerere is also part of it.”
Sports people have really made a big difference during this pandemic with the way they have helped those in need.
In England, about 1,3 million children will get free school meal vouchers during the holidays after a campaign by Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.
The British government which was providing meal vouchers to families whose children qualify for free meals had intended to discontinue with the scheme.
However, Rashford penned an open letter to MPs and in the end the government was forced to make a U-turn.