CHIEF Nyangazonke Ndiweni from Kezi has said food aid distributions to villagers, through government food programmes, should not be conducted by councillors because they are partisan.
Report by Blondie Ndebele
In an interview on the side lines of umgubho celebrations at his homestead, Nyangazonke said the food aid, which is meant for everyone, had created divisions in the community, as it was being distributed along party lines.
“Food distribution has created divisions in this community,” he said. “The problem is that it is distributed by the councillors yet they belong to political parties. People complain about uneven distribution of food.”
The chief said government projects were supposed to be handed over to community leaders including chiefs because they are non-partisan.
“Food assistance is meant for everyone, if the programme is handed over to the chiefs, people will get a fair share because chiefs are non-partisan.”
Nyakazonke said his community had not been spared from the drought that has hit most Matabeleland areas as a result of poor rains.
He said hunger was worsened by the villagers themselves who delay to plant because they will be waiting for free seed and fertiliser. Nyangazonke said villagers were more dependent on handouts, resulting in planting delays leading to poor harvests.
“Yes, the government is helping but at the same time killing us,” he said. “If the inputs delay, villagers do not make an effort to buy seed and fertiliser. They will wait to be given and they start planting when the rains are gone and they harvest nothing as a result.”
He said people should find alternative ways of fighting hunger because the government and donors would not always be there to rescue them.