'Street kids distributing food aid'

HARARE - War Veterans minister Tshinga Dube, has sensationally claimed that street children have been roped in by shadowy elements in government to distribute food aid to starving citizens.

Although Social welfare minister Prisca Mupfumira dismissed her colleagues’ claims as false, Dube insisted that the street kids were in the process personalising some of the aid and selling it at the expense of the hungry.

This comes as government has launched a food aid distribution programme in the cities to supplement urbanites’ diets in the face of the El Nino-induced hunger.

President Robert Mugabe has declared a state of disaster in regions affected by El Niño, a crisis which has left over four million people in dire need of humanitarian aid.

“We have these boys in the streets distributing food. I have met quite a number of them on the streets. They now look like Casanovas because of this new ‘job’ which they now possess,” Dube said during a meeting of the presidential and vulnerable households agriculture input scheme in Harare on Tuesday.

“How they get to distribute maize seed when we have social welfare officials, I don’t know. But we should look into this because our most vulnerable people are not benefiting from food distribution,” he bemoaned.

The Makokoba legislator said citizens in his constituency were struggling to get by.

“I come from a constituency built in the 1900s. We have some of the oldest people in the country, some of the most vulnerable. But they are dying of hunger,” Dube said.

“Just like our war veterans, they are dying of hunger and some of these problems are because of these street children. I know they are pocketing some of this food,” he said, adding that “these are the questions we should be addressing because food is not getting to the intended beneficiaries”.

The Zanu PF politburo member said the Constitution provides that war veterans should be looked after by State institutions but they have since been reduced to paupers.

“Unfortunately, you look at us with scorn and you say ‘what are they talking about’. But in foreign countries, war veterans are a special people,” Dube said.

“Even (controversial US presidential aspirant Donald) Trump has consistently shown his appreciation of war veterans.”

“But here most officials say we should be in queues like everybody else but we are old, we need special assistance,” he said.

However, speaking at the same platform Mupfumira dismissed Dube’s claims, insisting that State institutions were constant beneficiaries of food aid and that they “were well-looked after”.

The food aid saga comes as Zanu PF has been fingered as the major perpetrator of politicisation of food aid in a report by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission.

In relation to that, Mupfumira recently told Zanu PF supporters at a Norton rally that they will not receive food aid unless they join Zanu PF and follow the party’s structures.

Comments (3)

Blame game at its highest pitch. They are now running short of people and organisations to blame for their failures............now its the street kids because they cant defend themselves. It boggles the mind how a minister can sink so low and thus questioning the sanity of the one who appointed him to that position of authority.

Chasura - 20 October 2016

Mr Minister, I think you are now losing your mind. Those are not street kids. They are actually sane people. Normal people just like you. It's just that you and your comrades have run down the country to such levels, These guys have been reduced to street kids. The dressing, the behavior, the general appearance, the skin texture (malnourished), bathing and even the thinking, mindset. They have been reduced to that and now you see them as street kids? God forbid. One day muchasangana nazvo henyu. Imbobai tione.

Smoothy1 - 21 October 2016

Mr Minister, I think you are now losing your mind. Those are not street kids. They are actually sane people. Normal people just like you. It's just that you and your comrades have run down the country to such levels, These guys have been reduced to street kids. The dressing, the behavior, the general appearance, the skin texture (malnourished), bathing and even the thinking, mindset. They have been reduced to that and now you see them as street kids? God forbid. One day muchasangana nazvo henyu. Imbobai tione.

Smoothy1 - 21 October 2016

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