From George Maponga in Masvingo
President Mugabe has donated 60 tonnes of maize-meal to ease food shortages in Bikita where tens of thousands of people are facing starvation in the wake of the prevailing El Niño-induced drought.
The donation of maize-meal to villagers in Bikita will be replicated in other six drought-prone districts in Masvingo after the President undertook to provide the food.
This followed a request for food assistance from President Mugabe by the zanu-pf provincial secretary for commissariat ,Cde Jappy Jaboon, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bikita South.
Speaking at Nyika Growth Point during the handover of the maize-meal to thousands of villagers, Cde Jaboon thanked President Mugabe for chipping in with food to mitigate the effects of the prevailing drought.
The legislator said the donation by President Mugabe showed that the Head of State and Government was committed to making sure that no one starved.
“I am happy that President Mugabe positively answered to my request for food to ease the effects of hunger here in Bikita which is one of the districts hardest hit by drought.
“The President gave us this mealie-meal for distribution to the people of Bikita after I had told him about the extent of food shortages in Bikita,’’ he said.
“The President also made an undertaking to provide more maize that we are going to distribute to the other six remaining districts in Masvingo that are also facing shortages,’’ he added.
The Bikita South legislator assured the people of Bikita that Government was working flat out to make sure the country had enough food.
“Our President is a man who has the people at heart, so let’s continue supporting him, and zanu-pf has already endorsed him as the party’ s presidential candidate for the 2018 elections. Let’s continue to rally solidly behind him because of his impeccable record as a man of the people especially the poor,’’ added Cde Jaboon. He urged the people of Bikita to remain united and continue supporting zanu-pf to enable the ruling party to complete its mission of empowering ordinary Zimbabweans.
Cde Jaboon warned the people of Bikita and Masvingo at large to ignore politically spent forces, such as the MDC formations and the newly formed Zimbabwe People First fronted by former Vice President Dr Joice Mujuru, saying these political formations would not stop the zanu-pf juggernaut come 2018 elections.
The donation of mealie-meal by President Mugabe to the people of Bikita comes hard on the heels of another donation by First Lady Amai Grace Mugabe, who gave over 2 000 villagers in Gororo communal lands in Chivi South 10kg bags of mealie-meal each to ease hunger in the drought-hit district.
Masvingo is one of the provinces hardest hit by severe food shortages following two successive seasons of failed harvests. Currently, an estimated 700 000 people urgently need food relief.