Chief Chipuriro of Guruve has lashed out at businesses that are increasing prices beyond the reach of ordinary citizens.
Chief Chipuriro said the cost of living has become exorbitantly high and can have detrimental effects on the upcoming farming season.
The traditional leader said hundreds of people in his area are wallowing in poverty since the price madness hit the country and the situation has been worsened by the drought which has persistently hit the country over the last few years.
He said the government should not just fold their hands and watch while people die of starvation, but should come up with intervention measures.
“Basic commodities are expensive, there is no control and we don’t know where it will get to. There are a number of people that are starving here in Guruve. A few people managed to harvest little food from the 2018/19 cropping season,” Chief Chipuriro told this publication in Guruve last week.
It is estimated that inflation stands at more than 500 percent despite salaries being stagnant which has affected livelihoods of locals and the Poverty Datum Line is estimated to be at ZW $2300 in an economy where the majority are earning less than ZWL$1200.
Chief Chipuriro said government’s programs like the highly controversial Command Agriculture did not benefit everyone as there was an uneven distribution of inputs.
He lamented how most people have now turned to gold panning in order to earn a living.
“Although we have encouraged people to embark on sustainable projects, which has been hampered by low rainfall patterns over the last five years, most people, especially young men and women have turned to illegal mining for them to earn a living,” he added.
This has opened avenues for ill behaviour among the young population. He pleaded with the government to avail more inputs ahead of the upcoming season.
The government recently introduced new funding conditions for Command Agriculture that require individuals to approach banks for support in grain production during the 2019-20 summer cropping season.
For the 2019-20 maize and soybeans support, government has entered into partnerships with Agribank, CBZ, Stanbic and Women’s Bank to manage and disburse funds for the programme.
However, according to the government, Zimbabwe will receive normal rains with a bias towards below normal throughout the 2019/20 season which is likely to have a great impact on production yield and spells doom for the country.
“Masvingo and the extreme southern parts of Manicaland and bulk of Matabeleland South will expect normal to the biased below normal rainfall. From January to March 2020 all areas should expect normal rainfall to below normal,” Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri said recently.