Zimbabwe: Council orders kitchen feeding starving community to shut down

indafrica May 22, 2020
Updated 2020/05/22 at 5:12 AM

The Chitungwiza Town Council has caused outrage after it was revealed that the council is seeking to shut down a family kitchen being run by a Good Samaritan.

The kitchen is providing free meals to vulnerable people in Chitungwiza. Many people have been left in dire straits with no source of employment due to the ongoing national lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Samantha Murozoki  has touched the hearts of many across the world after she started providing food to the vulnerable and needy on her own initiative.

The mother of two prepares porridge in the mornings for children and supper later in the day for hungry families in Chitungwiza’s Seke Unit A.
Muzoroki has revealed that she never planned to set up the family kitchen and only did it after being moved by the plight of people who were starving in her community.

Explaining how she started, Muzoroki said, “I started with a 2kg packet of rice and 500g of beans. The number of people needing food has doubled since then. It’s not something that I had planned for.

“When my money ran out I started bartering food supplies with my jeans and sneakers,”

The immigration lawyer added that she is now getting help from people across the world who are sending money and supplies.

“After I posted pictures of what I was doing on WhatsApp my friends and family chipped in to help out. A colleague also decided to put my story on Twitter and Facebook, that is how the Zimbabwean community started helping out. They have been donating groceries and some are even wiring money from overseas.

“We just get people coming in to register their families, so we do not segregate. The lockdown is affecting everyone. We cannot turn people away because everyone wants food,”

However, the Chitungwiza Town Council has raised the ire of many after issuing a notice to Muzoroki ordering her to stop feeding the poor because her operation does not meet the regulations.

Part of the letter written to Muzoroki reads,

You are being guided by this notice that the above-mentioned feeding kitchen taking place has not been approved by this department according to Chitungwiza Urburn Council By-laws, 1981 part 11,6.

You are being advised by this office to take necessary procedures to meet minimum requirements for a feeding kitchen.

You are therefore advised to cease operations with immediate effect.

Many have criticised the council for being heavy-handed and for lacking empathy to appreciate the dire situation some families are in because of the lockdown.

Many agree that the operation should be regularized but have called on the authorities to be more humane and to work together with Samantha in regularising the operation rather than shutting it down outright.

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