Opposition party, Ideas Party of Democracy (IPD) has launched a food assistance program dubbed “Tora Saga Tiende” aimed at helping the food insecure people as COVID-19 continues to affect sources of livelihoods.
The near-record 2021 crop production is expected to improve access to food and engagement in income-earning activities across most of the country through at least early 2022.
However, some deficit-producing areas in parts of Masvingo, Matabeleland North and South, Midlands, and Manicaland Provinces had relatively poor production and are expected to experience some challenges accessing food during the 2021/22 lean season
According to IPD leader, Herbert Chamuka said the COVID-19 induced lockdowns have left many families in dire need of food aid, hence the party has taken it upon itself to help those in need.
“As of now during this lockdown, IPD will not rest, we will continue to give help and support to people from all backgrounds who need food aid so that they will not starve during this COVID-19 period.
“Since this lockdown was implemented, we have helped people with food handouts and money to help them with starting small projects. We will do this regardless of which party an individual supports.
“We are alive the fact that the Zanu-PF led government is overwhelmed and may not be able to reach all corners of the country and also the ruling party has used food handouts for campaigning purposes. That is a different approach from us, we have the people at heart,” he said.
The government has come up with stricter localized lockdowns following a spike in COVID-19 cases, which has hampered most economic activities.
Stricter localized lockdowns have been imposed in hotspots in Mashonaland West, Mashonaland Central, Midlands, and Masvingo Provinces and Bulawayo.
Land borders remain closed to non-essential travel. The COVID-19 containment measures continue to impact income-earning activities, especially for informal sector activities in urban areas.
Chamuka said his party, although it is opposed to the idea of lockdowns, supports the fight against COVID-19 and emphasized the need for the government to support those in need.
Statistics show that one in three children in Zimbabwe suffers from malnutrition. Matabeleland, in the southwest of the country, has the highest cases of global acute malnutrition, with an estimated 74,267 children under the age of five affected, including at least 38,425 with severe acute malnutrition.
The South African based politician applauded Zimbabweans for maintaining peace in the face of difficult times.
“The Ideas Party of Democracy is not a violent party, it’s not a demonstrations party but a party of peace, unity, development and democracy. Our aim is to win the 2023 elections. We encourage those that will see our writings and our works in Zimbabwe to vote for us when the time comes.
“We are strong and dedicated to free the country from the mud and take it to the light. Any elections held after 2023 if we win, will be free and fair, no violence, anyone can campaign freely, if the people love you, then so be it. if they don’t love you they don’t love you,” he said.
Zimbabwe goes to the general elections in 2023.