Andile Tshuma, Chronicle Reporter
CHIEFS in Umguza District have received 10 tonnes of maize donated by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) under the Isiphala Senkosi programme.
The National Aids Council (Nac) provided farming inputs to Anju Prison farm which is run by the ZPCS, which provided labour and expertise.
Speaking at the official hand-over ceremony at Anju Prison farm in Nyamandlovu, Umguza District Administrator Mrs Gloria Round said the Isiphala Senkosi project should be implemented in other provinces as it could be a permanent solution to food shortages.
“We have many vulnerable households in our communities. Our chiefs cannot afford to provide for the people from their own pockets. It is therefore very important to have such partnerships as this one so that our leaders are empowered to take care of communities,” she said.
ZPCS acting officer commanding Matabeleland North Assistant Commissioner Moddie Nkomo said the prisons project, which will benefit chiefs Ndiweni, Ndondo and Deli from Umguza district was part of their plans to assist the Government in taking care of poor households.
“We have lots of labour. We empower our inmates with various skills, including farming. We have agronomists. We grow food and we have been supplying all Matabeleland prisons. It is therefore necessary that we put our resources to good use. We are very happy that Nac approached us and decided to embark on this pilot project with us. We hope that this project will grow bigger and better,” she said.
Nac Provincial Coordinator for Matabeleland North, Mr Dingani Ncube said good nutrition was vital for people living with HIV/Aids.
“People living with HIV fall under the vulnerable, especially in child headed households. It is crucial that people living with HIV and are on anti-retroviral treatment get enough food. We therefore approached ZPCS after noticing that there could be a partnership that could be beneficial to the community.
Prior, we only donated farming inputs to chiefs, to give to their needy members of communities. However, we decided last year that this time we would give Anju farm the inputs and then revive the Isiphala Senkosi,” said Mr Ncube.
“We are very happy about the success that we have realised on our pilot project. We are taking this to other provinces. This is only the beginning. Greater things are coming.”
Chief Deli of Nyamandlovu said chiefs go through difficulties, especially during drought years, when our communities go hungry.
“This will enable us to provide for our communities during trying times. We commend such efforts by Nac and the ZPCS.
“We hope that such programmes will not only be for us but will be implemented elsewhere so that other chiefs in other areas can also be given resources to provide for their communities,” said Chief Deli.