Partisan food distribution worrying
EDITOR — Reports of partisan distribution of food aid have marred concerted efforts by the government through the Department of Social Welfare, non-governmental organisations, churches and other philanthropists to alleviate the plight of vulnerable citizens.
While the majority of reports by Zimbabwe Election Support Network (Zesn)’s Long Term Observers (LTOs) resident in the 210 National Assembly constituencies about food distribution have been positive, a few of the reports indicate that food aid provided by the government is, at times, distributed on party lines.
Such a report was received from the Lupane West LTO who reported that the councillor for ward 4 removed suspected supporters of opposition parties from the list of food recipients from the Department of Social Welfare.
Reports from other LTOs, however, indicated that food distribution was done in a non-partisan manner.
These reports were received from the Gokwe-Kana, Gokwe Sesame, Chimanimani East, Mutasa South Gutu South and Beitbridge East LTOs.
Meanwhile, across the country a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health professionals and disgruntlement over poor remuneration were reported in previous weeks. In some instances this has prompted protests by health professionals.
This week, Bulawayo and Harare LTOs reported demonstrations by health professionals from Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, United Bulawayo Hospitals, Mpilo and Ingutsheni Hospital. Thirteen nurses from Sally Mugabe Central
Hospital were arrested and charged with contravening section 8(3)a of the public health (Covid-19 prevention, containment and treatment regulations).
Government should urgently address the concerns of health professionals as they are a critical component of the health delivery infrastructure of the country and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
A number of challenges continue to affect the operations of those who rely on the informal sector for livelihood.