Tuesday 28 April 2020


Minister Ncube with Byo Mayor, Mguni
BULAWAYO residents will soon access subsidised mealie meal from the comfort of their homes as Government steps up efforts to combat the spread of Covid-19 through a new strategy of door-to-door deliveries at household level.

Government is working with Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) in implementing the new strategy.

Addressing journalists in Bulawayo yesterday, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Judith Ncube said the new approach was necessitated by the need to curb the spread of Covid-19 after it was noted that people were failing to observe the principle of social distancing in mealie meal queues.

Residents in Thorngrove, Njube and Entumbane will be the first to benefit in a pilot programme before the programme is rolled out to other suburbs both in the eastern and western areas.
Local millers will be distributing the commodity door to door.

“We have come up with a mealie meal distribution strategy that will see mealie meal being delivered at household level. We have since selected three priority areas namely Thorngrove, Njube and Entumbane as part of the pilot project before rolling out the programme to other locations in both high and low density suburbs,” she said.

“We are working in conjunction with the Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe for the smooth execution of this strategy and local millers will be distributing the commodity to residents door-to-door. The committee, which is tasked with the distribution is set to start the sampling of people tomorrow (today) in the three identified suburbs.”

GMAZ introduced a nationwide zonal distribution of subsidised roller meal recently following complaints that many people were unable to access it as it was reportedly being channelled towards the black market.

The countrywide programme saw the product being delivered to residential shops in selected urban areas in Bulawayo, Harare, Mutare, Marondera, Kwekwe, Gweru and Chitungwiza, as part of efforts to ensure the public conforms with the country’s national lockdown order.

The new door to door system is aimed at curbing the rampant movement of people in search of the basic commodity.

Speaking during the same occasion, Bulawayo mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni said the local authority is working on decongesting the central business district (CBD) as part of a raft of measures to curb the spread of the global pandemic.

The Bulawayo City Council has already permanently closed some informal markets in the CBD including the popular Khothama Market to bring order in the city beyond the lockdown period as part of the decongestion drive.

“The city council is working on decongesting the CBD and to this end, wholesale distribution centres for fresh farm produce will be established across the city’s residential suburbs at shopping centres. Engagement of stakeholders is underway as we prepare for the post pandemic era,” said Clr Mguni.

“The period of limited movement has also served to curtail the spread of the virus and I urge each one of us to continue with this culture of hand washing and social distancing.”

The streets that were used as markets are now open to traffic and pedestrians with council having identified certain portions in the CBD as temporary facilities to accommodate informal traders. All the informal traders that were operating along 5th Avenue were relocated to their respective suburban shopping centres.

Clr Mguni also commended corporate organisations, individuals and public institutions for continue to render support towards the rehabilitation and upgrading of Thorngrove Hospital as well as contributing to the fight against Covid-19.

“It is imperative that as a nation and city we continue to reduce the number of deaths from the pandemic. I am therefore grateful for the collaboration we have witnessed from various partners and sectors,” he said. Chronicle


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