S.A Donates Maize Meal To Zimbabwe As ED Pampers Chiefs With Cars
26 May 2021

By A Correspondent- South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday dispatched International Relations minister Naledi Pandor to hand over tonnes of maize meal and other donations to his Zimbabwean counterpart President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Pandor, a vocal critic of Zimbabwe’s human rights abuses, handed over the consignment at State House in Harare.

“On behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, the government and the people of the Republic of South Africa, we are here today to hand over the support to the Republic of Zimbabwe as pledged by the Republic of South Africa,” she said.

“With the good rainy season in our region after the devastating droughts of El Nino, we have tapped into our land, and it has produced enough grains to allow us to share. The cost of our pledge was R50 million and from that amount, we were able to secure 450 000 bags of 12,5kg of maize meal.

“South Africa will be responsible for the transportation costs to Harare and for further delivery and distribution to the identified 12 districts.”

Pandor described Zimbabwe as “a friend who sticks with us through raging storms”.

“Zimbabwe has been that friend that stood with us as we braved through the storms of colonialism and apartheid. As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed.

“While we are hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not forget that natural disasters remain cyclic pandemics, affecting millions of people across the world, for decades. They have killed scores of people, displaced people and deprived them of livelihoods and dignity. They continue to create vulnerable communities, in which people are robbed of their human rights to access food, healthcare, adequate water, housing, educational and recreational facilities.”

Pandor said natural disasters called for government, business and civil society to come together to rebuild the affected communities.

In a related development, president Mnangagwa on Saturday handed over cars to traditional chiefs.

The brand new Isuzu double-cab trucks were handed over to traditional chiefs, after doing the same in the run-up to the 2018 elections.

Zimbabwe has 286 chiefs, and the new vehicles come as ZANU PF has roped in the traditional leaders to mobilise support ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, President Mnangagwa implored the Chiefs to put the cars to good use adding that government will fulfil its promise to upgrade the status quo of traditional leaders.

He said:

We will stand by our pledge to ensure chiefs get access to electricity, water, good roads and vehicles every five years.

This I hope will enable you to execute your duties of uniting people, instilling and preserving our cultural values.

We want chiefs to exercise their duties by following up on those in rural area and towns who are troublesome and put them to order then I will rest assured of leading the united and peaceful nation.

This comes at a time when the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) faces an acute shortage of vehicles and hospitals across the country do not have enough ambulances.

Traditional leaders are supposed to play pivotal roles in communities as the custodians of cultural values, facilitating development and resolving disputes using traditional ways of conflict resolution but they have increasingly been abused by ZANU PF to commandeer their subjects to vote for the ruling party during elections.