By Mashonaland East Correspondent
THE government has parceled out loads of goods seized by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) to villagers in Uzumba Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP), an area that has consistently given Zanu PF the biggest vote during elections.
The goods, worth thousands of dollars, were donated to over 600 villagers in the Mashonaland East area.
They are part of goods seized by ZIMRA officials from cross-border traders who had attempted to smuggle them into the country.
In November last year, hundreds of villagers in UMP were left homeless after heavy rains that pounded the area destroyed their homes.
A six year-old girl, Gloria Kapawu, from the same area died after she was swept away while trying to cross a flooded river.
Since then, appeals by villagers for the government to intervene and assist them with food and shelter have not been heeded.
However, last week, Labour and Social Welfare Minister, Sekai Nzenza was in Uzumba where she donated 30 tonnes of maize, ten bales of clothes and ten bales of shoes.
Most of the goods were second-hand clothes and shoes that cross border traders buy from Mozambique for resale in the country.
During the handover ceremony, Nzenza said the government had failed to respond urgently to the disaster as it had no funds.
The minister said she expected to meet the UN resident coordinator, Bishow Parajuli, for more humanitarian assistance to be brought to the district.
Tichaona Karumazondo, MP for Maramba-Pfungwe, said the humanitarian situation in UMP was dire and government should come every year to the aid of the villagers as the district faced perennial drought.
“We are appealing to the government to continuously render assistance to this area as it is always affected by drought,” he said.
“Most of the families are surviving on one meal a day and that is if they can even afford it. The heavy rains that we received in November came as a surprise to us because we don’t get such kind of rains here.”