SILOBELA MP Mthokozisi Manoki Mpofu has claimed that nearly 90% of villagers in his constituency were now surviving on wild fruits and were in urgent need of food aid as their grain reserves have been exhausted.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
“They are feeding on wild derere (okra) and other wild leaves like munyeve (wild vegetables) which geminated in the past weeks when there was little rain. We have only 10% of our people who can harvest something if we have rains, the rest have nothing,” he said.
Donza ward councillor, Willard Moyo also echoed the same sentiments, saying some villagers were on the verge of starvation, as government is yet to distributed food aid in the area.
“We have not seen any food aid coming our way but the situation at the moment is very bad because most of the people here are surviving on wild fruits and mangoes,” he said.
Silobela is known for being rich in mineral resources and most villagers earn a living through illegal gold panning.
Moyo said sadly, gold finds in the area had also become fewer.
“It seems like a curse because we are not getting any rains and gold seems to have evaded our mines because most of the unemployed youths who had turned to mining are not getting any gold these days,” he said.
Headman Muchikicha, born Sikumbuzo Dhlodhlo, confirmed that his subjects were in need of food aid, without which they would die of hunger.
“The extent of food shortages we are facing now reminds me of 2011 when most of my people were forced to trade their cattle for maize. We need food aid and we need it fast,” he said.