Govt cuts allowances for the vulnerable
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
SOCIAL Welfare minister Paul Mavima yesterday revealed that government is currently giving a $180 cushioning allowance to vulnerable persons instead of the initial $300 due to a shortage of funds.
This comes as the government recently indicated that the cushioning allowance for vulnerable groups that have been affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19)-induced national lockdown, had been raised to $300 from $200 as the government had delayed in paying the money by more than a month because of database challenges.
Speaking on the sidelines of the burial of Zanu PF politburo member Absolom Sikhosana at the National Heroes Acre in Harare yesterday, Mavima said the $300 would start being paid in June.
“As you know we had to delay a bit in making the cash transfers because we had to clean up the original database of vulnerable people and we now have a database with 201 000 people.
“Therefore, the payments for this month started last week. People are receiving $180 per person.
“This is because we thought we would marry two programmes, the one where we have always been giving $180 and the one for people who have become vulnerable as a result of the national lockdown, using the resources that have been released. We are sure that all the 201 000 will be paid $180 each this month,” Mavima said.
He further said that vulnerable people would be getting the $300 starting from June and that this would continue until the end of the year.
“They (vulnerable groups) will be getting $300 and this programme will continue to maybe up to the end of the year.
“There have been changes in the amount that we are supposed to pay. We had initially said $200, but for this month we paid $180.
“However, for June we are going to pay $300 per person and we hope that our database will have grown so that we reach more people.
“We will also continue registering people. There were delays in registering people because we wanted to make sure that those who are registered are really vulnerable people and we had to go over that database many times over.
“Initially we had wanted to make sure that we reach as many as one million Zimbabweans, including those in urban areas who have lost income due to the Covid-19 lockdown,” Mavima said.
He added that the people who have so far received the $180 included vendors and those from the informal sector whose sources of income have been affected by the national lockdown.