BY BEAUTY NYUKE
ELDERLY people told Parliament last week that they were struggling to access government-sourced food aid as well as COVID-19 cushioning allowances.
This was revealed during public hearings held virtually by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service.
The Southern African Parliamentary Support Trust (Sapst), which sponsored the public hearings, said: “Participants indicated that the elderly were facing difficulties in accessing food aid since the start of the pandemic (COVID-19).
“Some citizens indicated that they had not received any food assistance or COVID-19 cushioning allowance from government. Submissions also revealed that some citizens were registered with the Ministry of Public Service for COVID-19 cushioning allowances, but had not received any assistance to date.”
Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Service chairperson Emma Ncube said Zimbabwe was increasingly becoming vulnerable to severe droughts due to climate change, and other natural disasters such as floods and tropical cyclones, hence the increased need for food security.
“Given the unpredictable nature of occurrence of these disasters, government has had to resort to national budget re-allocations to cushion vulnerable populations against their impacts. In that sense, the government has moved to revamp its disaster risk financing systems,” Ncube said.
Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Defence will hold public hearings from May 17 to 21 on the Zimbabwe Independent Complaints Commission Bill which was gazetted on November 24, 2020.
The Bill is in relation to section 210 of the Constitution which states that: “An Act of Parliament must provide an effective and independent mechanism for receiving and investigating complaints from members of the public about misconduct on the part of members of the security services, and for remedying any harm caused by such misconduct.”