Rival Bulawayo residents’ groups row over roller meal

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

TWO rival groups representing Bulawayo residents are at loggerheads over the distribution of government subsidised roller meal within city suburbs.

The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has accused the Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) of hijacking the distribution of the staple.

Government, through Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ), recently introduced the zonal mealie-meal distribution in Bulawayo and other parts of the country.

The move was meant to limit the movement of citizens from their places of residence while hunting for the scarce staple.

BPRA coordinator, Emmanuel Ndlovu accused BURA of hijacking the process and denying residents from other associations the chance to purchase the product.

“In Ward 10 in Entumbane, there has been an outcry over the leadership of BURA which has been denying access to the commodity from residents belonging to other residents’ associations and requiring that only residents with BURA cards access mealie-meal.

“This happened on Friday the 17th of April 2020 at Nhliziyo Shopping Centre whereby some members who do not belong to BURA were chased away,” said Ndlovu.

The BPRA coordinator said it was uncalled for, for residents’ associations to be involved in mealie-meal distribution.

“BPRA condemns this abnormality and upholds that residents’ associations should not be involved in the distribution of mealie-meal or food aid since their roles is that of monitoring only,” he said.

BPRA, Ndlovu said, has been monitoring the distribution of government subsidised roller meal in the city through its structures.

He said the association has noted some key concerns over inconsistency in requirements for one to be able to buy mealie-meal, amongst other worries.

“In Ward 15 (Luveve), concerns over partisan distribution of mealie-meal have also been registered with corrupt local leaders selling mealie-meal only to those with links to the ruling party.

“This has forced many residents not to adhere to the lockdown regulations as they wander searching for the commodity in the neighbouring wards,” said Ndlovu.

He urged the government to investigate businesses which were taking advantage of the situation to fleece residents.

Recently, Tshabalala residents in the city accused Zanu PF officials of hijacking the facility and distributing the staple at selected shops and supermarkets.

Millers are buying grain from the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) at a government subsidised price of $242 per tonne.

As a result of the government facility, millers are required to sell mealie-meal at subsidised prices to the consumers.