……..As President Mnangagwa Struggles to Handle Covid19
Free food kitchens are beginning to pop up in urban areas as the country’s leadership struggles to provide enough social support for a poverty stricken nation.
Following the re-opening of Samantha Muzoroki’s kitchen in Chitungwiza, after a brief stoppage at the behest of Council, another kitchen has come up in Epworth.
Today I went to Epworth in the morning.
What I saw was HEARTBREAKING & INSPIRING.
2 single mothers @AndEpworth are cooking breakfast for 100s of KIDS daily.
These single mothers don’t work, they sold the little they had.
Help via Ecocash +263777034678 Please be kind by RETWEETING pic.twitter.com/8WZ7bhJrKM
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) May 23, 2020
The facility, sited at Munyuki, is run by two women Caroline Bushu and Sandra Chikwana and offers porridge to young children every morning.
According to a released mini-documentary, the women started the self-funded initiative to help mitigate food challenges in the Epworth community where the majority are informal workers.
An increase in the self-funded social support programs by private citizens increases pressure on a government whose own social support program is yet to start despite constant promises.
The informal sector, which employs many, has been prohibited to operate under Covid19 Lockdown Level 2 regulations.
Many have lately tried to restart their informal businesses in the CBD but security authorities have come down hard shutting them down as the government seeks to prevent a full explosion of Covid-19 infections.
The absence of any concrete social support measures has however increased negativity surrounding the President Mnangagwa government.
The supposed new dispensation administration is currently overseeing a full economic recession with the economy being projected to contract by 7.4%, which is for the second year running.
In 2019 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recorded the economy contracting by 8.3% as the country endured its biggest crisis in a decade.
“The sharp downward revision largely reflects the fallout from the spread of Covid19 and lower-than-expected commodity prices”, said the IMF.
Reports have also stated that the country is on the verge of ‘manmade starvation with close to 60% of the population now food insecure”.
Hilal Elver, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food said, “the people of Zimbabwe are slowly getting to a point of suffering a manmade starvation”.
About 5.5million rural Zimbabweans and a further 2.2 million in urban centres face food insecurity.