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Hunger stalks Plumtree villagers

BULILIMA traditional leader Chief Masendu has called on the government and non-governmental organisations to strengthen social protection systems to complement traditional leaders' efforts in assisting vulnerable communities in Matabeleland South province.

He said most villagers in Plumtree were facing starvation as most of their breadwinners were stuck in South Africa and Botswana due to COVID-19 lockdown measures.

"Most of our breadwinners are in South Africa and Botswana and are stuck in those neighbouring countries due to lockdown measures," Chief Masendu told Southern Eye, adding that they got five tonnes of rice from government several months ago.

He said the rice, shared among the chiefs, was not enough for hungry villagers in Bulilima West district.

The traditional leader said some of the NGOs they relied on had stopped distributing food handouts.

Due to successive droughts, villagers were also losing livestock since dams such as Mabhongani Dam had dried up, the traditional leader said.

Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Paul Mavima last week revealed that about 10 million Zimbabweans would require food aid in the next peak hunger period.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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