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‘Govt Must Provide Food For Lockdown Affected Citizens’

Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD0 leader, Herbert Chamuka has challenged the government to provide food assistance to citizens affected by the second COVID-19 lockdown.

The government last week announced a 30-day lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus which has surged incredibly in Zimbabwe with more than 700 cases being recorded on a daily basis for the past one week.

Currently, Zimbabwe has 21 477 confirmed cases, including 12 582 recoveries and 507 deaths.

However, the lockdown was heavily criticised with many citing that the country should have remained open as millions of people are likely to starve and die from hunger than from the virus.

In a statement to 263Chat, Chamuka said the President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration must provide food hampers to citizens affected by the new regulations saying their sources of income have been drained.

“This disease is getting more deadly and everyone needs to play their part in staying at home. However, the government must offer incentives. Most people who are affected by the lockdown are vendors, small scale operator and those who survive on a hand to mouth basis. They need food on their tables.

“Consequently, the government must provide food packs to each family affected by this lockdown and even allow some Non-Governmental Organisations to assist with foodstuffs and business people.

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“We urge President Mnangagwa to ensure that those millions of people affected are fed,” Chamuka said.

His remarks come in the wake of a government’s announcement that civil servants who have tested positive to the COVID-19 virus will each get US$600 compensation.

Public Service Deputy minister Lovemore Matuke last week announced that 1 305 government workers had so far produced the requisite COVID-19 certificates and are therefore eligible for the payments.

“All civil servants up to permanent secretaries who have tested positive since last year are being paid anything between US$600 and US$1 000 depending on their grades.

“For someone to be eligible for the one-off payment, they must have proof that they were tested and found to be positive.

“Those who do not want to state their Covid-19 status cannot be paid because the only way we can prove that indeed someone tested positive is the results of the test,” Matuke said.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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